Does where you live matter at all?

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/26/2007 9:15 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm brand new here; sure this has been talked to death but if someone could answer it for me i would appreciate it.
Is there any research, evidence, etc. that where you live can either help or hurt arthritis?
I live in Denver and almost died this winter. It was so cold, for so long. Would moving to a warmer climate help? What role does humidity play? Altitude?
I have OA (I remember a boyfriend calling it "just OA" and that was the end of him). It's all over, in my back, etc and I have two hip replacements. My quality of life right now is not good. Colorado's great, but I look around and see all these people enjoying it and I'm just in pain.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/26/2007 10:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Doety,
I can only tell you what I feel. I have Inflammatory arthritis and I live in Florida.  I HATE the cold, it makes me hurt SO bad. Give me a day with temps above 80 and I'm happy! As far as the humidity, right before it rains I feel pretty crappy but the typical Florida humidity does not bother me much.
:) Brenda

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 4/26/2007 4:58 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Doety,

I live in Cheyenne and now that we are having warm days I see absolutely no difference.  My pain levels and puffiness are just as bad as they were last winter. 

In saying that, I am unable to work so did not have to go out if I did not want to and maybe that is where the difference lies.

Take care.

Cheyenne,  WY
Meds: Enbrel/ MTX/ FA/ Klonopin/ Flexeril/ Lyrica/ Hydrocodone
RA Dx Sept05/ FMS Dx Jul05/ OA Dx Apr00
"Fear not for I am with thee"

Jemima Puddleduck
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 4/26/2007 7:01 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello and welcome. I found an article you might find interesting about arthritis & weather:

Hope this helps. Take care.


New Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/27/2007 8:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Good article Jem, ty.
:) Brenda

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 4/27/2007 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I live in Durango, higher up and sometimes colder. My experience is that the weather does not affect my RA directly, but certainly colder joints move less freely and can have more pain. My Rheumy tells me weather has not direct affect on RA, I believe that.
I would think that altitude has little affect in all this either, I live at nearly 8,000 ft ASL.

But, my understanding is the CO has an unusually high percentage of MS victims, a close cousin to RA. I have no information as to why that is.

For me it does matter where I live, I'ld suffer much more if I lived somewhere that didn't have mountains to ride and climb, and lots of sun to do it in. Colorado makes my mental well being that much better, for me that is 99% of the battle.

good luck ... Craig

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 4305
   Posted 4/30/2007 9:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I live in Seymour/knoxville Tn and it get's alot colder here since we are real close to the mountains.I lived in the MS delta for 24 years and I have been back home for three years and I have noticed that I suffer more here than I did back in Ms.

Harley Diva
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 4/30/2007 10:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi I just came back from a trip to the desert and the temp was over 100. It seemed to make no differance in my RA. when we have a cold snap I wonder if moving to a warmer climate will help. I think the diffierance is that Iam more active in warm weather and maybe the increased exercise makes me feel better not the temp.
Harley Diva
....RA, HPT,  drugs: MTX Enbrel, bp meds,folic acid

The Bear
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 5/7/2007 2:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all. Maybe the dfference in people's experience is the difference between AO and RA. They are different animals so to speak and reading people's experiences there does seem to be a corelation between OA and climate. I don' t know but merely an observation. Here in the uk you often hear older people who have had oa for aeons say that a damp and cold climate exacerbates their condition. I have yet to expeerience this myself.
The Bear

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1179
   Posted 5/7/2007 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
wow interesting reading all the responses. for me with RA i live in a cold climate and have tough winters. for me whether it is 70 or -10 not a major difference but i do seem to feel a change in the barometric pressure sometimes, not always. just before a rain i might get a tad noted increase in stiffness but overall results seem to be the same achey self. time of day or year dont really matter for me. i do try harder to keep active in the warmer months and hybernate in the colder months but heck everyone is like that unless you ski or snowmobile.

New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/9/2007 11:25 PM (GMT -7)   
I have PsA - I can't say that there is a huge difference for me between cold and humid hot - both suck. I'm in Canada - and have experience extreme varients of both. What does have an enormous effect is barometric pressure. If there is going to be overcast weather (rain or not) I know 2 days before hand, and am usually physically ill (nausious) from the pain. I have a friend who goes through the same thing with migraines connected to the barometer. I have often wondered though, if the dry heat of a place like Arizona would be an improvement - my grandmother often laments if she wins the lottery she's 'wintering in AZ' or whatever desert she can get to.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1331
   Posted 5/11/2007 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow some fellow coloradoans :)

Well I am near Fort Collins and it has been warm this week and it doesn't really make a difference if I am having a flare or not. If I over do it, then I suffer the consequences regardless of the temps. I'm hoping the mtx will start to work, because right now my hands are hurting something awful and that is not an area I usually have pain.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 5/11/2007 11:27 AM (GMT -7)   

I am so envious of all you Coloradoans.  I went to school out there (CSU in Ft. Collins), and I miss it so much.  Was just talking to my husband the other day--asked him what he would do if my job agreed to transfer me to Denver.  He said he'd start packing. 

I've never felt a difference with the weather.  That being said, when my feet and hands get cold, they get very painful and stiff, but I think that's a combination of arthritis and raynaud's (which I do have).  My rheumy told me that many of his patients report that weather makes a difference with their RA, though.  If weather made a difference, I would guess that for me, moving to CO would do it.  Less humidity than where I am now (Washington, DC area).  Dry cold is much easier for me take than damp cold.



Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7314
   Posted 5/12/2007 5:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Air pressure has a well documented effect on joints and swelling. I'd imagine that altitude, with the difference in air pressure would have some effect. With lower pressures comes increased inflammation. I am much more likely to have joint swelling just before and during a storm. Cold also contributes to more stiffness. Does having AS make this different? I don't know. Both Mom and Daad have OA and find the same thing. Dad even moved to FL to be in warmer weather because his neck just can't tolerate the cold anymore.
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
 God helps those who help themselves.
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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 5/12/2007 6:33 PM (GMT -7)   
We know that a decrease in the barometric pressure decreases the wall tension in an arterial vessel, which allows the vessel to expand. It is believed that this vascular expansion has some contribution to the pain experienced in degenerative arthritis. They believe that a decrease in barometric pressure increases pain in the degenerative arthritic patient population. And rapid decreases in barometric pressure seems to make it more difficult for these patients to cope with daily activities. On the flip side, they also believe that an increases in barometric pressure cause increased pain in my patients with rheumatoid arthritis. There hasn;t been much research done on this topic since the early 1960s. . Relocating to a different climatic environment does not seem to make a difference in the long run. Scientific studies have shown that no matter where people live their bodies seem to establish a new equilibrium to the local climate. As a result, changes in the weather affect the arthritis symptoms in the same manner regardless of the actual overall average weather. Moving is not likely to be beneficial long term. It appears that there is some evidence that the symptoms of certain persons with arthritis are influenced by CHANGES in the weather. This is not true for all people with arthritis, nor is it predictable what type of weather alterations will bother people. The bottom line is that while the exact cause of the activation of arthritis symptoms may not yet be scientifically understood, each patient must make lifestyle and/or medication adjustments according to the particular weather conditions that they note influence their symptoms. It is very important to appreciate that only joint SYMPTOMS, such as pain and stiffness, are influenced by weather. We do not have any evidence that weather changes lead to joint damage. Furthermore, weather changes have not been related to whether or not an individual develops arthritis.
Enough said..
I am a Registered Nurse, who also is a chronic pain patient who well understands the world of living in pain. I have had 17 orthopedic surgeries and am still dealing with orthopedic and neurological complications. My background in nursing consists of Legal Nurse Consulting, chronic pain management, medical surgical nursing as well as intensive care. Ive worked with children with sever neurological injuries and diseases. Becoming a patient really opened my eyes to how people in pain suffer and are neglected by our society..

Post Edited (IceDrop) : 5/13/2007 8:57:33 PM (GMT-6)

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