Most Fibromyalgia sufferers will agree that change of weather can affect the pain of Fibromyalgia and many Arthritic conditions, but can the hotter weather increase or decrease your pain?
Well, according to the website Fibromyalgia Symptoms, a study performed in 1981, found a large percentage of fibromyalgia sufferers may actually be sensitive to changes in the weather. In this particular study, 90% of patients claimed that weather was one of the most important influences on their fibromyalgia symptoms. And fibromyalgia sufferers aren’t the only ones to experience weather-related symptoms. The weather also affects people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and osteoarthritis.
People with OA or RA are not the only ones who link weather to increased arthritis pain. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, warm weather may improve symptoms for some people with psoriatic arthritis. However, there is no conclusive evidence proving this link. There is no evidence to support you moving to a warmer climate to escape arthritis pain although drier, warmer weather may result in less pain for some sufferers.
They say that warmer weather tends to ease the troublesome symptoms of fibromyalgia but when that barometric pressure changes fibromyalgia sufferers often find that these changes in barometric pressure can ‘trigger’ muscle aches and pains. One thing that they say can also affect us is how the wind condition is. Whether it’s a light wind or a gale-force wind, wind generally causes a decrease in barometric pressure. This means that wind can trigger fatigue, headaches, and muscle aches in fibromyalgia sufferers.
Southside Pain Specialist say barometric pressure is the weight of the surrounding atmosphere. This pressure typically drops prior to bad weather, which means there is less air pressure on the body. This causes tissue to expand. Expanded tissue creates pressure within the body that then results in pain or the sensation of pain or discomfort. People who suffer from chronic pain may have heightened sensitivity to such pain.
Blogger FibroDaze points out that “some heat sensitive people feel all-over heat sensations that seem to come from within their own body. Along with hot flashes, some people have problems with excessive sweating. Others may only have problems in their hands and feet, including puffiness and aching. Warm or hot weather can be unbearable with heat sensitivity.”
When the weather gets warm, heat-sensitive people with fibromyalgia and arthritic conditions often experience symptom flare-ups. Research has found that people with fibromyalgia exposed to hot temperatures report increases in pain, headaches, fatigue, anxiety and depression. They are also more likely to have heat rashes and heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Vanness Chiropractors say our bodies adjust to the climate we’re living in, so any dips in weather equal back pain, no matter the starting temperature or the degree of the dip. Decreased pressure causes the body’s tissues to expand and press against joints and structures in the back, and you’ll recognize that the pressure dropped with the return of your consistent back pain.
When the barometric pressure drops, this fluid surrounding the joint expands, thus causing the body’s tissues and membranes to stretch even further. This chain reaction means that your pain nerve fibres are irritated – and you’re all of a sudden acutely aware of your back pain.
However, the winter months can cause us more pain. The Centre For Spine say up to 8 in 10 people will have back pain in their lifetime, and in many cases, a flair-up is caused by a drop in temperature. Aches and pains during colder months can be some of the hardest to deal with because tendons and joints contract in the cold air, making the pain seem more excruciating. If you are one of the many people who suffer from winter pain, there may be a few solutions that will actually decrease your pain.
According to an extensive review of clinical research by Pain Treatment Topics, authored by Stewart B. Leavitt, MA, PhD., people suffering from pain usually had inadequate levels of vitamin D. “In our review of 22 clinical research studies, persons with various pain and fatigue syndromes almost always lacked vitamin D, especially during winter months.
When sufficient vitamin D supplementation was provided, the aches, pains, weakness, and related problems in most sufferers either vanished or were at least helped to a significant degree.
So, in answer to my question does hotter weather increase or decrease your pain I guess the majority of us would say ‘yes’ it does definitely increase our pain. On that note and in this very hot period make sure that you are fully hydrated, cool down with a shower or cool bath, use cool packs instead of heat packs and wear cool clothing.
Source: Centre for Spine, Vanness Chiro, Web MD, South Side Pain, Hunimed.
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