Changes in the weather often create noticeable joint changes for individuals with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Studies show that lower temperatures, precipitation (snow, sleet, etc.) and decreased barometric pressure are correlated with increased joint pain.
Despite researchers’ conclusion that the relationship between weather and joint pain is not strictly causal (that is, weather change does not directly cause joint pain), it’s not uncommon for people with arthritis to say they can tell the weather is changing because their joint pain increases. If winter weather has your joints distressed, try these tips from a hand therapist for relief during the cold months!
If you are unable to get relief with the tips above, contact your physician or your nearest Athletico Physical Therapy clinic to set up a free assessment.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1. Dorleijn, D., et al. (2014, April). Associations between weather conditions and clinical symptoms in patients with hip osteoarthritis: A 2-year cohort study. Pain. 155(4), 808–813.
2. McAlindon, T., et al. (2007, May). Changes in Barometric Pressure and Ambient Temperature Influence Osteoarthritis Pain. The American Journal of Medicine, 120 (5), 429 – 434.
3. Timmermans, E., et al. (2015, October). The Influence of Weather Conditions on Joint Pain in Older People with Osteoarthritis: Results from the European Project on Osteoarthritis. The Journal of Rheumatology, 42 (10), 1885-1892.