Does the weather impact your arthritis?

(NC) Is there truth to the idea that weather affects your joints, or is it an old wives’ tale?
Scientists are not yet sure why, but studies do suggest that weather changes can increase pain.

While controlling the weather isn’t an option, there are things you can do to manage your pain. Start by tracking your symptoms. You can find a daily symptom tracker on the Arthritis Society’s website. Once you know what kind of weather affects you, follow these tips.

If your symptoms are worse in warm weather:

  • A cool shower or cold pack can help with pain and inflammation on hot days.
  • It’s important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and try to avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks that can contribute to dehydration.
  • Try to avoid spending time in the sun during the hottest hours of the day.
  • You can try a cooling ointment or spray that produces an icy feeling where it’s applied.

If your symptoms are worse in colder weather:

  • Take a warm bath or shower to help relieve the pain.
  • Use a hot water bottle, warm pack or heating pad to soothe sore joints.
  • Dress in multiple layers and cover exposed skin when outdoors.
  • Try soaking your sore hands in warm water.

Find more resources on heat or cold therapy at

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