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Does Humidity Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Does Humidity Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a degenerative joint illness that worsens over time, if not treated properly. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are also observed to worsen with weather changes. 

Patients especially complain of increased joint pain when the weather is humid. Many patients say that their bodies somehow predict the weather as the joint pain accelerates when it’s about to rain.

It seems that there is some link between humid weather, cold weather and arthritis. Let’s find out with scientific evidence whether humidity affects rheumatoid arthritis, or is it just a myth? You will also come to know about the ways to soothe your aching joints in rainy and cold weather.

Does weather affect rheumatoid arthritis?

Here is the kicker:

There is no solid scientific evidence that suggests a correlation between arthritis symptoms and weather changes. 

But various studies have proved that humidity does appear to have a clear influence on the symptoms of RA. The patients experience an increase in joint pain and stiffness as the weather becomes more humid. Though the reason behind it is not certain. 

A 2015 study in which 800 patients suffering from osteoarthritis were included has shown that most of the patients experienced an increase in joint pain and stiffness in humid weather. The swelling and pain increased as soon as the weather became a bit cold.

This shows that there is some link between humid weather and symptoms of arthritis. But there is no research that can explain this correlation completely.

Possible correlation between humidity and arthritis  

Researchers have explained the possible correlation between arthritis and humid weather based on various studies. Below are some of the possible reasons that might aggravate the symptoms of arthritis in humid weather.

Change in the air pressure 

As soon as the weather becomes humid and the clouds begin to form, the air pressure drops. This change in the barometric pressure might contribute to the symptoms of arthritis. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments expand and contract as the barometric pressure changes. This might explain the increased joint pain and stiffness in humid weather.

Mood changes 

It’s a common observation that you feel low or experience a bad mood in humid and cold weather. The mood changes also aggravate the pain and stiffness in arthritis patients. But not all patients experience mood changes when the weather becomes cold, so this explanation seems a bit vague. 

Inactivity 

In cold weather or the rainy season, you don’t feel like doing chores actively. This inactivity can increase joint pain and make them stiffer.

READ ALSO: 7 JUVENILE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS TREATMENT EXERCISES

Increased viscosity of the synovial fluid 

Synovial fluid is in the joints to make them flexible and movable. Cold and humid weather might increase the density of the synovial fluid and this might make joints stiff and painful.

All the factors mentioned above aggravate the symptoms of arthritis in humid weather as the inflammation and pain increase. This is why it’s best to follow a few remedies as soon as you experience a change in weather.

Along with home remedies, you should also consult your doctor in humid weather so that they prescribe a few painkillers and soothing medicines to help you cope with the weather conditions.  

Best Climate For Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Although a change in weather doesn’t affect the course of the illness, yet warm weather is considered to be a period of less pain. Warm, dry weather helps reduce inflammation and makes your joints less painful. 

Whereas, cold weather may cause joint pain and stiffen the joints. That’s why you might have noticed an increase in pain and inflammation in the cold season. 

So the best climate for rheumatoid arthritis would be a warm and dry climate with low humidity levels. 

Treatment – How to cope with joint pain in winters and rainy seasons? 

Although there’s no scientific evidence that proves a correlation between arthritis and humid weather, patients still suffer from painful and stiff joints in rainy and cold weather. 

Below are some of the treatment options that will help you manage your arthritis pain in humid weather. 

Home remedies

  • Keep yourself warm. Keeping your joints warm makes them more flexible and the stiffness reduces. As a result, the inflammation and pain reduces a great deal. 
  • Don’t forget to move. Hit the gym or follow the exercises advised by your physiotherapist. Or just take a walk daily to keep yourself moving.
  • Consume healthy food that keeps your body warm. A warm body means an increase in blood flow that results in less pain and inflammation. 
  • Apply a hot pack to the aching and stiff joints to make them more flexible. You can apply a hot pack on the joints for 25 minutes after every couple of hours
  • Take a hot shower to soothe your joints and reduce pain effectively. 

Physiotherapy

It’s a good idea to consult a physiotherapist as soon as your symptoms aggravate. The therapist will help you cope with increased pain and inflammation with a set of exercises. These exercises will keep your joints warm and thus the symptoms will start relieving. The therapist will examine you and recommend a few exercises based on your particular condition. That’s why it’s important to consult a physiotherapist and avoid following others as it can result in increased pain and inflammation as well. 

Painkillers 

If the pain persists then ask your doctor to recommend painkillers that you can take in humid and cold weather. Your doctor might prescribe NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, to ease your pain. 

If the pain persists along with increased inflammation then your doctor might recommend corticosteroid injections. They help relieve pain for some time. 

But all these painkillers will reduce pain for just a few hours. They don’t heal or “repair” the joints and so you will experience the symptoms again. 

That’s why, you should try some alternative treatment to cope up with your arthritis even in humid weather. One of the treatments is mentioned below. 

Alternative treatment – Laser Pain Therapy 

Laser pain therapy is a proven way to get rid of joint pain and stiffness in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis in humid weather. You can take a few sessions of this modern therapy in humid weather to ease pain and move your joints freely. 

A safe laser beam is directed to your aching joints by a rheumatologist. This stimulates a natural healing mechanism in the body and makes your joints pain-free. The treatment includes various sessions. 

If you’re in Pakistan and looking for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis through laser therapy then head to our modern pain management clinic—BioFlex Pakistan. You’ll get the maximum benefit from this treatment as we have: 

  • Advanced laser devices 
  • Experienced rheumatologists who have treated various patients successfully 
  • Modern treatment with no side effects reported yet 
  • Cooperative staff
  • No hidden charges 

Click to know more about our Arthritis treatments, or book your appointment to get rid of the pain and swelling of joints in cold and humid weather. 

The Bottom Line 

Does humidity affect rheumatoid arthritis? This is a common observation that the joint pain and stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis patients aggravate in humid and cold weather. There are various studies that prove possible correlations between joint pain and weather changes. Read above to know all about it. 

You’ll also come to know about treatment options for humid-induced joint pain to help manage your symptoms effectively and enjoy this weather to its fullest.

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