Does Humidity Make Arthritis Worse? Weather and Arthritis

Living with arthritis can be difficult, especially when the humidity is high. It can be hard to move around and do everyday tasks when your joints are swollen and painful. There may be a relationship between weather and arthritis. So does humidity make arthritis worse?

While there is no definitive answer to the question of whether humidity makes arthritis pain worse, many people find their symptoms are indeed aggravated by wet weather. It’s a popular feeling that warmer, dryer conditions are best for arthritis, as fewer flare-ups were experienced in these climates.

Does Humidity Make Arthritis Worse?

You wake up feeling stiff and achy, and you can tell it’s going to be one of those days. The arthritis pain is always worse when it’s humid outside, and you can already feel the moisture in the air.

You know that humidity can make your joints swell and irritate your skin, but you’re not quite sure why.

Understanding the relationship between weather and arthritis can help you to better manage your pain and protect your joints on days when the weather is less than ideal.

Dutch researchers enrolled 222 people with osteoarthritis of the hip — the most common, “wear-and-tear” type of arthritis — and compared their reported symptoms with a variety of weather variables. They found that over a two-year period, pain and stiffness were slightly worse with rising barometric pressure and humidity, although the overall average impact was small.

Harvard Health

We know how tough it can be to deal with arthritis pain, especially on days when the humidity is high. But it’s important to remember that you’re not alone.

Experts believe that humidity may cause changes in the tissues around the joints, leading to pain and stiffness. There are a few things you can do to help manage your pain on days like this.

Does Humidity Make Arthritis Worse?

Many people with arthritis report that their symptoms flare up in humid weather. While there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, it is possible that the increased moisture in the air affects the joints in some way.

Joints are filled with fluid, and the added humidity may cause this fluid to swell, putting pressure on the surrounding tissues.

In addition, changes in barometric pressure can also cause pain in the joints.

As the air pressure drops, it can cause the tissues around the joints to expand, resulting in pain.

While there is no definitive answer to the question of whether humidity makes arthritis worse, many people find that their symptoms are indeed aggravated by wet weather.

Best Climate for Arthritis

According to the Arthritis Foundation, the best climate for arthritis patients tends to be warm, dry climates. This type of climate helps to reduce inflammation and joint pain. Arthritis sufferers who live in cold, damp climates often find that their symptoms worsen during the winter months.

Ultimately, each patient will need to experiment with different climates to find what works best for them.

Does Hot Weather Make Arthritis Worse?

For many people, hot weather does tend to make their arthritis symptoms worse. This is likely because hot weather can cause inflammation and swelling, exacerbating pain and stiffness. In addition, heat can also make joint tissue more sensitive, making it more painful when pressure is applied.

However, not everyone experiences significant worsening of their symptoms in hot weather. Some people find that their arthritis is actually less painful in warm weather.

This may be due to the fact that heat can help to improve blood circulation and loosen stiff joints.

As a result, it is difficult to say definitively whether hot weather makes arthritis worse or not. Ultimately, it depends on the individual.

Barometric Pressure and Arthritis

Barometric pressure is the atmospheric pressure that surrounds us. It is measured in units of pressure called pascals (Pa). When the barometric pressure changes, it can affect the joints and may trigger an attack of arthritis in some people.

Understanding Barometric Pressure

Understanding barometric pressure can help you predict weather changes since it drops before a storm and rises after the storm passes. Barometric pressure also affects human health, since it influences blood pressure and body fluids.

Low barometric pressure can cause headaches, fatigue, and dizziness, while high barometric pressure can cause nausea and vomiting.

By tracking barometric pressure, you can better understand the effects of the atmosphere on your health and the environment around you.

Barometric Pressure Effects on the Body

When barometric pressure drops, it indicates that the air is becoming lighter and that the atmospheric pressure is decreasing. As a result, less oxygen is being pushed into our bloodstream and less blood is being circulated to our organs.

This can lead to a number of symptoms, including the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased anxiety
  • Migraines
  • Dizziness

While these effects are usually only temporary, they can be uncomfortable and even dangerous for those with certain medical conditions.

For most people, however, simply being aware of the potential effects of barometric pressure changes can help to minimize any discomfort.

What Level of Barometric Pressure Causes Joint Pain?

In general, it is thought that lower levels of barometric pressure are more likely to cause pain. However, everyone is different and some people may experience pain at higher or lower levels of pressure.

Low Barometric Pressure Symptoms

Low barometric pressure can negatively affect your health. Symptoms associated with low barometric pressure include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • The quickening of the heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing.

These symptoms are caused by the body’s need to adjust to the decrease in air pressure. People who are outside in cold weather or at high altitudes are most likely to experience these symptoms.

To avoid these symptoms, it is important to dress warmly and drink plenty of fluids. If you do experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

What Is Better for Arthritis Heat or Cold?

The answer to the question of what is better for arthritis, heat or cold, depends on the type of arthritis you have. There are many types of arthritis, including psoriatic arthritis rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.

If you have osteoarthritis, then heat is better for arthritis. This is because osteoarthritis is caused by the degeneration of the cartilage in your joints, and heat helps to increase blood flow, which can reduce pain and stiffness.

People with rheumatoid arthritis, however, then the cold may be better for arthritis. This is because rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints, and cold helps to reduce inflammation.

According to Medical News Today, both heat and cold therapy may help ease arthritis symptoms. Heat may help relieve aches and stiffness, while cold therapy may help ease swelling and pain.

Humidity Joint Pain Relief

Humidity joint pain relief starts with avoiding exposure to a humid outdoor environment for extended periods of time. If you must be in a humid area, take breaks often and move around frequently to keep your joints from swelling.

You can also try using a humidifier in your home to help reduce the amount of moisture in the air.

Make sure that you are staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. This will help to keep the joints lubricated and prevent them from swelling.

If you follow these tips, you should be able to relieve your joint symptoms and stay comfortable even on humid days.

Does Humidity Affect Inflammation?

While the relationship between humidity and inflammation is not fully understood, there is some evidence to suggest that higher humidity levels can lead to increased inflammation.

One study found that people with arthritis who lived in more humid environments experienced more joint symptoms and stiffness than those who lived in drier climates.

Another study found that people with allergic asthma had more symptoms when the air was more humid.

However, it is important to note that these studies are limited and further research is needed to confirm the link between humidity and inflammation.

In conclusion, while there is some evidence to suggest that humidity may affect inflammation, further research is needed to confirm this relationship.

Dehumidifier for Arthritis

The symptoms of arthritis are often aggravated by high humidity levels, which can cause the joints to swell and stiffen. A dehumidifier works by reducing the amount of moisture in the air, which can help to alleviate these symptoms.

If you suffer from arthritis, I highly recommend investing in a quality dehumidifier. It just might be the relief you’ve been looking for.

Final Thoughts

Humidity appears to be a significant factor in the development of arthritis. Joints are more likely to swell and become painful in humid conditions, and arthritis may worsen over time if the humidity is not controlled.

However, further research is needed to confirm these findings.

In the meantime, patients with arthritis should take steps to protect their joints from excessive moisture, such as by using a humidifier or wearing appropriate clothing.

Healthy diets and maintaining a healthy weight are also key factors in combatting the suffering of arthritis.


Trina Greenfield, Author
SmackDown Media LLC

About the Author:
Trina Greenfield, the owner of SmackDown Media LLC, is passionate about providing information to those interested in the air quality in and around their homes. Trina writes content about things she’s passionate about, such as safe, in-home air, educational platforms for children and adults, as well as all things family-related.