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How weather impacts joint pain and inflammation

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Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

As you’ve likely heard from your doctor, inflammation is a part of the body’s natural defense system. Whether chronic or acute, joint pain and inflammation is a sign your body is reacting to its situation — both physically and environmentally. 

A great example of this is people who claim they can predict the weather purely based on their arthritis pain. When the pain flares up, their stories go, a storm is on the way. This isn’t all nonsense (though when someone starts predicting torrential downpour or makes claims about their ability to accurately predict the depth of forthcoming powder days on the ski slopes, it might be time to turn a questioning eye). 

Weather can have a big impact on your arthritis symptoms, and on joint pain and inflammation in general. 

A few factors play into this. Let’s look at them.

Barometric pressure

Changes in barometric pressure can cause joint tendons to expand or contract. The same happens to muscles and tendons, and even bones — so when you leave your hometown to go somewhere in a different climate, elevation, or season (should you be traveling internationally), you may notice inflammation after arrival. 

Low barometric pressure can cause joint fluids to thicken, which also triggers inflammation as the joints expand — similar to what is mentioned above. 

In general, you’re going to notice symptoms more during changing barometric pressure than by a certain level of pressure, as your body adjusts to your surroundings. So, places with steadier barometric pressure tend to be more inviting places to live for people with severe symptoms of arthritis. In the United States, these include locales with year-round warm weather such as Miami, Hawaii, Las Vegas, and some places in the South like Nashville and the Carolinas.

Places where it is hot year-round but even more so in summer — like Phoenix or Atlanta — are generally better for arthritis symptoms than places where it’s cold in winter and hot in summer, like Colorado. 

How this affects me when I travel

Travel is where the barometric pressure game gets interesting. This is because in some places you’re not going to notice much difference, while in others it’s all about the season. 

Cold air is denser than warm air, which causes it to “sink” (hence the common expression that hot air rises). Because of this, cold air has a higher barometric pressure than warmer air. So, if you’re traveling from Phoenix to Denver in the summer, there’s probably going to be less of a difference in barometric pressure than if you’d traveled between the two cities in before or immediately after a winter snowstorm.

Driving between Wilmington, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina, isn’t likely to have a big impact on joint pain, as a major weather event that is affecting one is likely to affect the other, and the two places have similar climates year-round.

Humidity

Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor present in the air. In general, arthritic symptoms and pain tend to worsen as humidity rises, if the barometric pressure is dropping. We mentioned above that weather can affect the level of fluids in your joints — and it is believed that this is what causes humidity-related arthritic symptoms, according to the National Library of Medicine. The study goes on to conclude that, “The classic opinion, ‘Cold and wet is bad, warm and dry is good for RA (rheumatoid arthritis) patients,’ seems to be true only as far as humidity is concerned.’”

Bringing the two together

Low barometric pressure caused by lower temperatures combined with high humidity during a rainstorm is likely to inflame arthritis symptoms much more than dry, stable conditions. This is what gives arthritic persons their weather-predicting ability. When the two forces combine, the result can be increased joint pain and inflammation, and after one has experienced this wicked combination over the course of several years, it’s as though they can see it coming.

The unfortunate thing is that there isn’t much a person can do about the weather. As tempting as it can be to use this time to simply do nothing, one of the best things to do is actually to keep active. Activity keeps your body loose and limber, and when preceded by a solid session of stretching can prevent cramping and muscle tightness. This will help keep inflammation down in itself, while also preventing you from gaining unnecessary weight that adds additional pressure to your bones and joints,

And of course, GLX3 is here to help keep your inflammation levels down. Our daily supplement is shown to reduce joint pain and inflammation by providing the body with proper levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, derived from New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel Oil. When combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, GLX3 can help keep your arthritic symptoms in check — whether you’re in the mountains of Montana or on the beach in Florida.

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