Why Does “Seasonal Arthritis” Hurt So Much?

Robbie Adams September 14 2017

As the seasons change, so may your pain.

Happy mature couple

The winter is coming, and weather-sensitive arthritis sufferers feel it first. It’s not your imagination; you may be able to feel weather changes in your joints.

Of the 712 people suffering from osteoarthritis surveyed, 469 (or 66%) reported that their symptoms of osteoarthritis worsen due to “weather sensitivity.”

But why?

What Is Osteoarthritis?

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that is characterized by damage and loss of articular cartilage and changes in adjacent bone, including osteophytes and subchondral bone sclerosis.
  • OA can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in knees, hips, lower back and neck, small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe.
  • OA is most common in people older than 65, but can occur in people of all ages.
  • Age, obesity, previous joint injury and genetics may increase the likelihood of developing OA.
  • Osteoarthritisis the most common cause of chronic pain in older persons, and is the leading cause of disability in North America.

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By The Numbers:

  • One in two adults will develop symptoms of knee OA
  • One in four adults will develop symptoms of hip OA by age 85
  • One in twelve adults, aged 60 years or older, suffer from OA in one or both hands


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3 Reasons Why Weather Sensitivity Could Cause Increased Pain:

  • Barometric pressure:

    The factor that may be responsible for increased pain is not always snow, cold or rain, but a change in barometric pressure. Barometric pressure is the force exerted onto a surface by the weight of the atmosphere at any given point. According to Robert Jamison, a Professor at Harvard Medical School, the fluctuation of this pressure could be what makes you more sensitive to pain during movement.

  • Intensity Of Sun-rays:

    A study conducted on 133 adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) suggested that intensity and frequency of pain suffered by rheumatoid arthritis patients decreases in the summer. The same report also suggested that humidity is directly related to the intensity of joint pain.

    The reason? The risk of exacerbation of the affected joint(s) increases with higher humidity.

  • High Vapor Pressure:

    Inflammation suffered by arthritis patients is positively correlated with high vapour pressure. This means that you are more likely to experience greater pain and inflammation on rainy and/or hot, humid days.


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What Can You Do?

Doctors traditionally treat arthritis with anti-inflammatory medications, painkillers and other forms of medications. However, some medications can cause unwanted side effects, resulting in a host of other medical problems.

Phototherapy / Cold Laser Therapy:

Cold laser therapy is a medical treatment that uses low-level lasers. The technology utilizes super luminous and laser diodes to irradiate diseased or traumatized tissue with photons. These particles of energy are selectively absorbed by the cell membrane and intracellular molecules, resulting in the initiation of a cascade of complex physiological reactions. This leads to the restoration of normal cell structure and function.

  • Cold laser therapy or phototherapy is considered safe. It is non-invasive, painless and drug-free. There have been no reported adverse results or side effects of BioFlex Laser Therapy throughout the company’s nearly 30 year history.
  • Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated the benefits of using LLLT (Low Level Laser Therapy) / Cold Laser Therapy / Phototherapy, as it reduces pain caused by osteoarthritis (OA) and improves microcirculation in the irradiated area.

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