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Readers Respond: How Do Weather Changes Affect Your Arthritis?

Responses: 42


Updated July 31, 2011

Many people with arthritis claim they are affected by weather changes. Their joints ache when storms are approaching or when seasons change. It's so dramatic for some, they like to say that they can predict the weather. But it's really not funny.

Researchers have studied the effect of weather on arthritis. Essentially, they determined that while weather changes do not affect the course of the disease, some people may experience worsening of symptoms -- and the degree of that is subjective. Are you affected by weather changes? Explain what happens, when it starts, and how long it lasts? What do you do about it?

Share Your Experience

High humidity

I never knew about high humidity affecting arthritis, just the cold weather. I have been particularly bad lately, osteoarthritis very painful in all affected joints. The weather is very humid, high barometric and warm. I googled effect of warm temps on arthritis and never expected the link to humidity...so my experience is not because I am expecting it or looking for patterns. I am sure there is a scientific explaination why high humidity makes osteo pain worse.
—Guest kim

Arthritis pain & the weather

It is raining & cold here and my body is killing me. I have arthritis and I really do believe that damp & cold weather makes my body ache 100 times worse than it does in the summer...but what can I do to help stop or ease it? It's really wrecking my life.
—Guest mandi

The weather affects me also

I have had osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia for the last 8 years and the day before it rains or gets really cold or snows I ache all over and I can hardly close my hands from the swelling and the pain. My hips also ache like crazy all day before the storm or cold. Another thing that affects my symptoms is the high winds too.
—Guest Tammy


My arthritic knee of 30 years, aches and visibly swells up to 72 hours before rain. The degree of pain and amount of swelling seem to correlate with the amount of rain we eventually receive, but both actually subside when it does rain.
—Guest Dave R.

Pains Pains Pains

It's not only with arthritis. It happens to me. I am a lupus sle and fibromyalgia sufferer for well over 20 years now. And days before it rains my symptoms do get worse. Once when the rain starts I start to feel better -- it's really odd but it is worse when it's leading up to rain.
—Guest Sandy

Extreme pain

A couple days before storms or extreme cold my knee aches. Sometimes my knee even swells up.
—Guest Jennifer

Pain, Coping with barometric drops

Steve here, have had systemic arthritis affecting all joints in my body since I was a kid due to chronic disease. I have learned that doing cobra presses when I have weather related flare ups help immensely. At first you will not want to get on the floor as you may fear not being able to get back up, but just work through it nice and slow. Cobra presses and other stretches alleviate my back, which then helps with the other joints. That, or going on a walk, cooking, cleaning or just doing something to keep my mind off the pain. I have yet to figure out a way to remedy it during sleep or before going to bed outside of NyQuil or using Tylenol PM. I know when it will rain hours before it pours - I am a walking weather radar.
—Guest Steve

Me too

I have bulging discs and arthritis in my spine and high humidity affects my pain a lot. I read somewhere it may have to do with swelling and contracting with air pressure changes but there is no scientific proof. However, enough people including myself say so and that is proof enough for me!
—Guest Lisa

The Rain is Pain

I know a day or so in advance with extreme pain to injured areas of my body. I broke a heel in 1990 and have suffered ever since when rain is a day or so away. Where can one live without the barometer taking such a toll?
—Guest Kurt

Weather changes

For years I've been able to predict changes in weather, be it fog to rain. Now on SSDI, taking methotrexate to help with Osteo. Three days out, that's how far out I can predict change. And if it's really gonna storm, 24 hrs. Hands, shoulders, back, feet, they all make me feel like a truck is on me. Thank goodness for good pain meds.
—Guest David M.

The Pain is Real!

Due to sprains & breaking my ankles playing basketball, arthritis has been a constant companion for approximately 20 years. When the temperature/weather changes, the pain becomes unbearable. I tried to figure out other reasons, like exercise or diet, but it always involves the weather. Not looking forward to my 50's if I have to live in pain like this!
—Guest Michael

Weather and rheumatoid not fun!!

I recently got diagnosed with RA. I live in BC Canada and I can really feel the effects when the weather is going to change. Be it rainy, sunny and very cold. At times can not function properly and I get very fatigued and my joints in my hands and feet become swollen and very painful. At times it feels like I was hit by a truck!! It will start the day before the weather changes usually in the evening. I'm almost certain and I'm never wrong when this happens it's crazy!! I also have a good friend with this and it happens to her as well. So when I feel like this my daily activities are very minimal and I lay on my couch and read a book. There is not much else I can do. I find if I do go outside on these days I feel worse.
—Guest Mar

As low pressure approaches

I live in southern Ontario. Without doubt my arthritis gets much worse as far out as 48 hours prior to the approach of low pressure. When I travel to western Canada in the summer, almost all symptoms subside. Would be more than willing to participate in any studies concerning this phenomenon.
—Guest Reinhart

The Weather Is My Biggest Enemy

My bones act up and the pain is terrible. I can tell when it's going to rain and I am always accurate. Question is what can you do to help the pain?
—Guest kathy

Yes I'm affected

When the weather changes, I feel like a cripple. It becomes an effort just to do the daily chores.
—Guest randi

Share Your Experience

How Do Weather Changes Affect Your Arthritis?

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