There is scientific evidence to suggest that weather changes can impact arthritis pain. In Spring, there can be extreme changes in the weather, like what we have recently seen 70 degrees one day and snow the next. A few key studies published in the Journal of Rheumatology and the Journal of Pain Research reported that patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and/or fibromyalgia have higher pain levels on days with more extreme weather changes. Patients with osteoarthritis tend to have higher pain levels on days when the barometric pressure is low (rainy days). Increased arthritis pain was associated with days that had higher humidity levels. Scientists
In my practice, I occasionally get asked to explain the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as osteoporosis. It is a good question and it is important to understand the difference, as these diseases are diagnosed and treated differently.
Osteoarthritis (OA): The most common form of arthritis and often referred to as the “wear and tear” arthritis. The smooth, protective cushion of cartilage on the bones gradually wears away and this leads to stiffness and pain and eventually, difficulty with activities. It is commonly found in the middle to older age groups. Other causes include obesity, prior injury and family history.
“Use it or lose it!” This is a common expression in healthcare. Reality is we will lose the ability to do things if we stop trying. This is especially true regarding our ability to walk, bend, lift and bear weight. The expression applies to everyone however, it is especially relevant for those of us living with arthritis. Arthritis can be painful! Exercising through the pain never sounds enjoyable. However, in the long run, regular exercise and physical activity can reduce pain and maintain range of motion.