How Weather Change Can Impact ArthritisDo you suffer with arthritis and notice the pain is worse in certain weather? Take a look below to find out how weather change can impact arthritis.

The idea that arthritis is affected by the weather has been around for a long time. Many people say their pain worsens with damp, rainy weather. So how and why does this happen?


How Weather Change Can Impact Arthritis

Barometric Pressure

  • Barometric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us and often drops just before bad weather arrives.
  • Research has shown that it’s barometric pressure that affects people with certain health conditions like arthritis.
  • Studies have found that barometric pressure affects pressure inside the joints. This can cause the tissues around your joints to swell and trigger pain, though researchers aren’t sure why.
  • In 2007, researchers at Tufts University, Boston found that with every 10-degree drop in temperature there was a corresponding incremental increase in the participants’ arthritis pain.
  • A study involving 151 people with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia, was conducted in Argentina. Participants kept a journal for one year. It was found that patients in all three arthritis groups experienced more pain on days when temperatures were low.
  • However, although some participants in studies report a link between bad weather and worsening of their condition, no strong association has been found. Other studies have yielded unclear results.
  • There have only been a few studies conducted on the subject and these have not been conclusive. This has resulted in disagreement among scientists as to the effects of weather on arthritis.
  • Of the studies conducted, most rely on subjective accounts by participants. Some scientists argue that because participants believe there is a connection between the weather and their arthritic pain, they then report increased pain during bad weather. As a result, some scientists seek the answer in a psychological explanation.


Human Psychology

  • People tend to feel down or sad on rainy days and during spells of cold and windy weather.
  • Mind and body are linked and when you feel depressed and low, you are less able to tolerate pain and notice it more. As a result, people may then link increased pain with bad weather. Also, on dark rainy days, you may stay in bed longer or sit around more causing your joints to become stiffer. This behaviour, rather than the weather conditions, may be the cause of your worsening symptoms.

Scientists and psychologists are now studying the role of psychology in shaping our responses to weather and pain.



Many people with arthritis experience a worsening of joint symptoms with bad weather, especially when is cold, damp or wet. Not much research has been carried out on the connection, but the studies done have not been conclusive, and there is little agreement among scientists.

Barometric pressure has been shown to affect people with arthritis but there is still confusion around the subject. Some believe the studies previously done have been too subjective and point to psychological factors influencing arthritis suffers perceptions of pain and weather. It appears that more research is needed into how weather change can impact arthritis.