Arthritis and Humidity

By Lana Latest Activity May 14, 2012 at 9:49 am Views 17,112 Replies 13 Likes 8


Summer is just around the corner and with all the warm weather we have already had, I wonder what to expect for the summer months. For some people with arthritis, the humidity can have a detrimental effect on arthritis pain.

Researchers believe the reasons for increased arthritis pain during the summer months include barometric pressure, dehydration and temperature variations.

Barometric pressure causes levels of the fluid in the body to fluctuate as a result people suffer from anything including headaches and joint when barometric pressure rises. Joint pain is triggered because neuroreceptors in nerve endings are sensitive to rises in barometric pressure. The same applies when there is a huge decrease in barometric pressure in the winter months.

Dehydration can trigger joint pain because joint cartilage contains vast amounts of water. Humidity causes excess sweating and loss of body fluid and that decrease in joint fluid results in dehydration and pain.

Temperature variations seem to be a trigger for arthritis patients and others with joint and bone injuries. Humid weather, in particular, causes already sensitive and inflamed tissues to expand and thus increasing arthritis pain.

How do the summer months affect your arthritis symptoms? How to you keep your symptoms at bay and how do you stay cool during the summer months?

  • Report Report as inappropriate
  • Share
    Email Email
    Print Print Twitter Twitter
    Facebook Facebook

Replies (13 replies)

Add your reply Reply Down
  • Mangosteen
    Mangosteen October 23, 2013 at 4:10 am   

    So does high humidity mean we need to drink more water to rehydrate?

  • sofiz
    sofiz January 21, 2013 at 9:35 pm   

    I've lived most of my life in Adelaide after feelin that ther ex sumthin wrong with my body, iv never felt so bad bt since wev moved to Coffs which is in NSW in Australia I feel derz lot of pain in all of my joints .its so humid here.iv yet to b diagnosed with arthrtis my tests are all on the way.

  • sofiz
    sofiz January 21, 2013 at 9:20 pm   

    Thanku everyone I've gathered a lot of info from everybodyz discussion an now know the reason of my intense pain in humid weather.

  • Gemm
    Gemm June 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm   

    Thanks for the tips Lana. I do find that I can function a lot better if I make a point to keep well hydrated. When the heat and humidity get real high I have to stay in the house with A/C going but otherwise we just keep the fans going, even here in W TN where it's been at least 85 - 90 most of the time since about April or so. We really never had a winter here at all this last season and Spring came in February and Summer was here by April - well, weathe-rwise anyway. What outdoor work I have to do I try to do either really early in the morning before it gets really hot or later in the evening after it has cooled some.

    My main problem with the heat and humidity though now hasn't been my arthritis since I've also been doing Physical Therapy but my COPD and my breathing that gets really bad when the T & H go way up. On some days it is difficult for me to walk from my front door to the van when they are really high. On those days I just have to stay in most of the time and keep busy with inside stuff - cleaning, canning, jam & jellies etc.

    I've also found that it is just as important to eat well as it is to stay hydrated, even as easy as it is to be tempted to skip a meal or skimp on one because of the heat. I try to keep several types of greens, including spinach, for salads as well as a serving of cooked meat of some kind to go with is that is good cold and make my own dressing (a salsa ranch which is more salsa than ranch lol). That with about 1/4 c each of tomato, pepper chunks, grated or shoestring carrots, @ 1/2 c or so of broccoli florets, and whatever else I happen to have makes a great cooling lunch and keeps me going until dinner. Some of these come from my own gardens (I have several small raised beds for different things) and it is really great having garden fresh stuff to eat. We will soon have fresh yellow squash and zucchini that I can also slice up in the salads. It will be awhile yet before the cantaloupes are ready as they are just now coming up (late planting them).

    Good luck to all this summer and try to stay well, cool and active.


  • Musicteacher
    Musicteacher May 27, 2012 at 11:18 pm   

    I find these months to be the worst for me. The humidity really affects me and I get increased pain. I use ice to treat the really painful joints, as well as Tylenol and salonpas arthritis patches along with my regular meds.

  • Tears123
    Tears123 May 24, 2012 at 12:18 pm   

    This is so true , I live in Raleigh, N.C. and it has been hazy,hot and humid and my knees and hands have been swollen the most. I have been keeping myself hydrated. Thank you for the info!!!

  • *Sunshine*
    *Sunshine* May 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm   

    Thanks for all the great info!!! I'm sure there are a lot of people who have fibromyalgia along with their RA, like me. I do find a lot more relief in the summer with the warmer weather. It also is great that you reminded people to keep hydrated. That can be a great help. It's just so hard when the cold weather starts to set back in and all that pain comes rushing back.

  • shadow nc
    shadow nc May 20, 2012 at 7:44 am   

    I lived in az that was where my troubles started. summer was tuff winter was good.

  • TrishPH
    TrishPH May 16, 2012 at 6:58 am   

    Yes, I do notice a difference in my joints with the change in pressure and humidity when it comes to weather. As the old saying said: I can feel it in my bones. This is so true to many of us. My grandmother used to say that all of time. Especially when the weather changes from hot to cold or vise versa. I just drink more and keep moving and cool off when possible to rest. I try to keep a schedule of sleep which can be trying at times. I also keep my medicines and supplements organized and try to keep to a regular schedule. Hoping all of this helps and adding or adjusting according to how my joints are telling me how they feel. Pointer: watch your salt intake! It causes more swelling in my joints but our body does need some salt.

  • ChildofHipHop
    ChildofHipHop May 15, 2012 at 7:22 pm   

    I live in the desert in California. I do really well when it is the dry heat. The first dip in humidity, mist or rain and the pain is just awful.

    Thank you for the reminder on hydration!

  • marieanne
    marieanne May 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm   

    Thanks Lana; another good one. The heat & humidity= OUCH. On
    real hot days I must be indoors with AC or I'll be sick. I make appts.
    for earlier or later in the day to avoid the worst part of the day. I
    use fans to keep the air circulating & have the AC on. Hugs, marieanne

  • mip's
    mip's May 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm   

    You know Lana, I live in Arizona. When a high presser comes in and stays for long periods and it's 105f I feel good, I' like a old lizard but …you need a swimming pool to stay cool.
    That's why there are so many Old grump people down here, they move here for their health.
    As far as your breathing, Arthritis can effect the rib cage and it makes it hard to get enough air into your lung. It's happening to me today also it spring in the big state of AZ and the wind blows and everything is in bloom plus it one big dirt pile.
    But I'm better off living here than some place else.

  • Lana
    Lana May 15, 2012 at 10:54 am   

    I wondered it that were true about the dry weather helping with many health conditions. Since I never lived in AZ, I could never answer when I was asked.

Hide the Social Toolbar Show the Social Toolbar