The relation between weather and arthritis has sparked innumerable discussions for many years now. Researchers have performed several studies over the years to determine the effect of weather-related factors on arthritis pain. Some of the arthritis patients often complain that the amount of pain they suffer from varies on the weather conditions. Factors such as humidity, precipitation, and barometric pressure are known to be the major players in causing arthritis pain.
While a number of studies performed to determine the effect of weather conditions on arthritis pain have provided inconclusive or even contradictory results, the most recent ones have shown that weather and arthritis pain are definitely related.
A recent study conducted by Dutch researchers included a group of 222 people having the most common type of arthritis – osteoarthritis of the hip. After two years when their reported symptoms were compared with different weather variables, it was found that there was a slight increase in pain and stiffness with rising barometric pressure and humidity. However, the overall average effect was considerably small.
Another study involving over 800 adults living in one of the six European countries also showed similar results. The study included people who suffered from osteoarthritis of the hip, knee or hands, and found that higher humidity caused an increase in arthritis pain and symptoms. While there was no massive impact of change in weather conditions on the symptoms, the study showed some evidence that weather does play a role in increasing arthritis pain and stiffness, especially in colder areas.
Many people suffer from arthritis but don’t get to know about it due to lesser pain in the beginning. Joint pain should never be ignored. While it is impossible to control the weather conditions irrespective of their effect on arthritis pain, it is extremely important to consult a doctor if you’re suffering from joint pain on a regular basis.
Depending upon the pain and swelling in your joints, the doctor might recommend a pathology lab test to accurately determine whether you’re suffering from arthritis or not. The doctor might also ask you to undergo a blood test to rule out other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis that can also cause joint pain.