Arthritits | weather arthritis

Arthritits | weather arthritis

So… does weather affect arthritis? The surprising
answer next… Weather may… or may not affect arthritis
symptoms One of the most controversial topics in arthritis
is this… Does weather affect symptoms? Well maybe we have an answer to this perplexing
issue. Nancy Walsh writing in her blog on Medscape reported on a Dutch study of 712
survey participants who were residents of Germany, Italy, U.K., the Netherlands, Spain,
and Sweden… a variety of climates. Patients’ mean age was 73 years, 72% were
women, and 67% considered themselves to be “weather sensitive.”
When the researchers compared the weather-sensitive patients with those who didn’t consider themselves
sensitive, they found that women, the less educated, and more anxious and depressed patients
were more often sensitive. Weather-sensitive individuals also had less
of a sense of mastery over their lives. Among the 469 individuals who considered themselves
weather sensitive, almost 40% said damp and rainy conditions worsened their symptoms,
30% said only cold bothered them, and 5% said hot weather was worse for their pain. Small
numbers reported increased pain with both hot and cold weather, or to rain and cold
and heat. Interestingly, the percentage of patients
who were weather sensitive was highest in warm, dry climates like Spain and Italy (77%)
and lowest in the cold, wet climate of Sweden (57%). In addition, residents of warm, dry
climates reported more intense joint pain than those in cold, wet climates.
Possible explanations suggested by Erik Timmermans, the lead author, included the biologic:
“Changes in temperature and humidity may influence the expansion and contraction of different
tissues in the affected joint, which may elicit a pain response. In addition, low temperatures
may increase the viscosity of synovial fluid, thereby making joints stiffer and perhaps
more sensitive to the pain of mechanical stresses.” The exposure theory:
“The climates in both Mediterranean countries are warmer compared to the climate in Sweden.
As a result, older people with osteoarthritis in Italy and Spain may be more often outside
compared to those in Sweden…. As a consequence, they may be more aware of the effect of weather
on their pain and are more likely to report weather sensitivity.”
And the mind: “The disease course of osteoarthritis is often
characterized by a low level or absence of symptoms with periods of flare-up or exacerbation.
The uncertainty about the recurrence of pain may lead to anxiety in people with osteoarthritis
and this might encourage the desire to have an explanation for the worsening of their
pain.” In any case, “the common belief that joint
pain in osteoarthritis becomes worse by living in a cold and damp climate is not supported
by our results,” they stated. They concluded that clinicians’ appreciation
of older patients’ potential weather sensitivity — wherever they live — may be key. “Early
treatment of weather-sensitive individuals with osteoarthritis using cognitive and psychological
interventions may reduce suffering and may help them to maintain a functionally effective
lifestyle,” they concluded. Comment: So there it is… your answer.


  • karin evans says:

    I disagree. I do not watch the news for rain or snow but for 2 days before rain or snow my joint worsen until the rain or snow falls. 

  • yeah toast says:

    I disagree too. I'm 30 with severe degenerative bilateral tmj arthritis (getting replacements next month, w0ot!!!) and I have had flare ups due to weather since my first surgery at age 16. The pain is unbelievable. People with connective tissue disorders and syndromes are made a little differently. Science can't explain everything yet, so don't go tossing the depression card around.

  • yeah toast says:

    Btw, I live in PA. Cold wet climate. I'm genuinely curious about this now. I need published articles. Am I depressed/focusing on my pain, or am I just in that much pain that I have nothing else to do than look up studies on weather and arthritis ahhhhh my jaw. It's the first day of spring and there's a snow storm. Ahhhhh it hurts

  • Two Pink Peas says:

    Woah are you kidding me? I NEVER leave negative comments but this just got me. When I was 2 years old I broke my left leg and up to 3 days before it rained I always cried to my parents. I was right EVERY single time! I have osteoarthritis in my knees but my left is by far the worst and I can absolutely without question feel that it is going to rain and I have not been wrong not one single time. This is not depression related or how uneducated a woman is. I'm sorry but this really upset me. Unreal!

  • Moo says:

    Less educated? I'm half way done with my master's. My first knuckle has been hurting for days and the weather says it's going to rain for 3 days straight. Change in atmospheric pressure appears to directly relate to joint pain in some people, by numerous accounts; I should know because I'm near Chicago, where weather changes from winter to Saudi Arabia in the same day. So you're telling me I have osteoarthritis that makes me want to believe that I have pain in my joints because I'm a hypochondriac? I wish I could think the pain away, mac, but it doesn't work that way. You shouldn't try to form conclusions based on what you want to be true, because you'll end up finding evidence that is formulated of purely opinions.

  • dougdelt says:

    I agree with last comment. Worse at night early morning as humidity increases to 88%, and wears almost completely off when during day is 47%. This is so cal, and first time experienced since week of high 80% humidity every night, and improvement every day as wore off.

  • frank brown says:

    dear doc– please report back, in about 20 yrs.

  • Larry Richardson says:

    I can tell when it's going to rain the barometric pressure is going to drop or it's going to get cold I don't care what anybody says I'm 80 years old and I've been around a long time I know my back tells me the weather forecast

  • terryfriend16 says:

    I love science, but, hey, no. When rain is coming I feel it in my knees. I am a degreed professional with a masters.
    No big deal on the education, but sometimes we all hurt the same.
    And when rain is approaching I can feel it two days ahead.

  • MŌKIN-RUI says:

    You should definitely redo this video, it's sort of difficult to sit through. The lack of tables and charts and the body language needs to be altered.

  • Marie G Schultz says:

    Did he just say…"The women who were the less educated and more anxious and depressed were more weather sensitive." This study is inaccurate and invalid. I don't agree with it or the people that support it.

  • Martha S Friend says:

    Not a good video and possibly poor research.

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