Is There a Connection between Arthritis and the Weather?

man with hand arthritisIf you suffer from arthritis or other joint-related conditions, it might seem like your pain and stiffness worsen with certain changes in the weather. As it turns out, this is a common phenomenon among lots of men and women with arthritis. These three factors are the top contributors to joint pain that comes and goes with the weather.

Low Temperatures

Now is the time of the year that many people begin to notice worsening arthritis pain. As temperatures drop in the fall and early winter, joint pain and stiffness tend to flare up, especially when combined with a cold  rain.

The jury is still out on exactly why this happens, although multiple research surveys have found that the majority of arthritis sufferers are sensitive to changes in outside air temperatures.

Changes in Barometric Pressure

As barometric pressure drops, joint pain rises.

Barometric pressure, also called atmospheric pressure, refers to the amount of force that the atmosphere around you is exerting. You can also think of barometric pressure as the “weight” of the air. As elevation increases, barometric pressure decreases. So people who live in the mountains may experience less arthritis pain than those who live down in a valley.


Rain seems to be the number-one type of precipitation that affects arthritis, although researchers aren’t quite sure why this might be the case. It may be a combination of low air temperatures and low atmospheric pressure that can come along with a cold, chilly rain.

Another possibility is that we tend to be less active when it’s cold and rainy outside, which can cause joints and muscles to tense up and become more painful than usual. On the other hand, exercise can be beneficial when managing arthritis.


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