Can Weather Affect Joint Pain?
For patients with joint issues, it can sometimes feel like their daily forecast comes in the form of aches and pains. Although many experience a strong correlation between the onset of inflammation and the onset of inclement weather, researchers still struggle to prove that the two are actually connected. In fact, the causes most often attributed to such symptoms are the result of autoimmunity, injury, or age.
Forecasting the Cause of Joint Pain
Each patient will experience a varying degree of cartilage loss due to aging. While aging sometimes contributes to mild joint pain treatable with over-the-counter pain relievers, prolonged joint pain is not a universal symptom of it. In fact, those with long-term joint pain often find the cause of their discomfort to be complications a chronic condition, such as:
- Chondromalacia of the patella
The onset of joint pain in younger patients may also be the result of a chronic condition. For those experiencing joint pain unexplained by an existing diagnosis, however, specialists often check for issues such as:
Uncovering the Weather Connection
There is countless research dedicated to uncovering the connection between weather and joint pain. A 2015 study examined 810 patients with osteoarthritis and found a correlation between the causes of “weather variables,” such as temperature and humidity, and joint pain. Yet, the reported relationship was not strong enough to confirm causation. Furthermore, a 2017 study of roughly 11 million medical visits analyzed the linkage between rain and the onset of joint or back pain but similarly found “no significant relation.”
Orthopaedists can’t yet confirm a patient’s joint inflammation as the result of inclement weather, but there are a range of factors these specialists most often trace back to flare-ups, including:
- Repetitive use
- Lack of activity
- Joint trauma
- High-impact exercise
Relieving Your Chronic Joint Pain
Research is out on whether the weather has any part to play in joint pain, but the team at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine is still committed to finding and treating the source of your discomfort. In fact, we’ve dedicated our unprecedented Joint Center to providing cutting-edge care through options like computer navigation and minimally invasive arthroscopy. To schedule an appointment and get to the bottom of your joint pain, fill out our online request form or call 904-825-0540.
Paul Roettges, MD
A member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Association of Knee and Hip Surgeries, Dr. Roettges performs hip and knee replacements as well as complex unresolved hip and knee pain.