Rheumatoid Arthritis: NHS on common signs and symptoms
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Arthritis flare-ups can occur for a number of reasons and will differ depending on the type of arthritis you have. According to experts from VeryWellHealth: “It’s common for people with osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis (for example, rheumatoid arthritis) to link weather with their pain.”
Although the majority of patients cite damp, rainy or cold weather as worsening their joint pain, some people note their joint pain can get worse with hot weather.
Experts from Carolina Arthritis say this could be down to your body’s susceptibility to swelling.
They explained: “If your arthritis seems to flare up in summer, you’re not alone, and you can blame the heat and humidity.
“The hotter it is outside, the more your body will be susceptible to swelling.
“The more prone to swelling you are, the more pain you will have.”
Both temperature changes and humidity can influence how tissues within a joint expand and contract, which may result in pain for some people.
Barometric pressure is also often linked to arthritis pain, which is why some people might experience flare-ups during the winter months too.
A 2014 study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders concluded more than half of arthritis patients report feeling more intense pain as a result of the outside climate.
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However, this isn’t necessarily to do with the change in temperature, but actually is the result of barometric pressure.
Put simply, barometric pressure is a measure that refers to the weight of air around us.
This means that not only can a cold front cause your hands and fingers to flare up, but the same can also be said for a warm front coming in.
Sudden changes in the barometric pressure can cause joints to swell, placing more pressure on the nerves that control the body’s pain centre.
How to manage your arthritis in summer
Certain lifestyle changes are said to help alleviate symptoms of an arthritic flare-up.
Staying hydrated during the summer is essential for anyone, but according to Carolina Arthritis, might also help to lubricate the joints.
They explained: “It is important to stay extra hydrated during the summer for these reasons, water helps keep cartilage soft and hydrated, and it promotes healthy blood volume, which allows nutrients to move through your blood and into your joints.”
Eating water-rich foods, including fruits and vegetables, can also maintain hydration and give you an added nutrient boost.
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