Researchers from The Netherlands showed that patients in one trial with 222 participants who had hip arthritis experienced somewhat worse pain and stiffness when barometric pressure and humidity increased, although the weather effect was minimal.
It has long been believed that the effects of the weather exacerbate arthritic pain. Studies on the topic over the years have produced contradictory results. However, according to three recent research, the weather does have an effect, according to Dr. Robert Shmerling of the Harvard Health Blog.
Another study examined the symptoms of 800 European people with hip, knee, or hand arthritis in relation to the weather. They noted that increased humidity, particularly in cold temperatures, caused them to feel more painful and stiff. Weather variations had little impact on their symptoms.
In a third study, participants described their symptoms of chronic pain. Of the 2,600 people, arthritis affected the majority of them. This study discovered “moderate associations” between discomfort, lower atmospheric pressure, higher wind speed, and higher humidity.
The effects of rain, humidity, and changing barometric pressure have all been studied in the past. According to Shmerling, there may be a connection between humidity, temperature, precipitation, and barometric pressure.
“Having reviewed the studies, I find myself not knowing how to answer my patients who ask me why their symptoms reliably worsen when the weather is damp or rain is coming, or when some other weather event happens,” Shmerling said in a Harvard Health news release. “I usually tell them that, first, I believe there is a connection between weather and joint symptoms, and second, researchers have been unable to figure out just what matters most about the weather and arthritis symptoms or why there should be a connection.”
It’s also unclear whether knowing how the weather affects things is useful. The results of the current trials probably won’t affect any specific arthritis patients unless the internal or external settings can be accurately controlled.
Nevertheless, finding a connection might benefit in understanding the mechanisms and causes of the symptoms of arthritis, which might result in better cures or preventative measures, according to Shmerling.