Extreme weather can be brutal to those suffering with arthritis. We’ve written before on how bitter winter cold can affect symptoms, but you may notice summer heat bringing its own troubles to your joints. High temperatures and humidity are typical of summers in the northeast. How do these conditions contribute to increased arthritis pain and what can you do to combat them?
With humid weather, many people are naturally prone to swell. This swelling increases pressure on joints and associated pain. To combat swelling, limit time spent outside in hot and humid weather. Try taking a cooler than usual shower to bring down your body temperature if swelling is becoming particularly bothersome.
As we sweat in the heat, we lose fluid from our body. Our bodies rely on this fluid for different functions, including lubrication of our joints. So it’s important to replenish our bodies with plenty of water throughout the day. On particularly hot days, double your normal water intake. Set a hydration goal each day to help you stay on track.
Changes in weather throughout the year can have an effect on arthritis. And in the summer, weather can change quickly with a rolling thunderstorm passing by suddenly. Some studies have shown that the barometric pressure in the atmosphere has a connection to joint pain. As pressure drops before a storm, joint and tendons can expand and contract, exasperating existing arthritis symptoms. Once pressure is normalized, you should see some comfort, but during heightened episodes try elevation and icing to relieve pain.
Summer is a time for fun, and we hope with this information, you can make the most of our warm weather days. If your symptoms continue or you’d like to learn more, the joint specialists at Northeast Orthopedics and Sports Medicine are here to help you live your life to the fullest.