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Do weather changes affect arthritis?

A common claim is that changes in weather (e.g. low pressure system, colder, damper, etc.) can cause pain or increased pain. This often comes up in the context of old injuries (e.g. "My old football injury.", scar tissue, etc.), usually to joints, however other parts of the body can be affected.

While there has been some research conducted into this claim as it specifically applies to arthritis, the full scope of the claim is much broader and covers general scar tissue, migraines, and other generalized aches and pains.

As such, is there really any evidence to support any sort of joint pain or discomfort associated with changing weather conditions?

  • 1
    changing weather is often accompanied by changing barometric pressure which can cause fluids to expand/contract causing joint pain
    – Ryathal
    Aug 28, 2012 at 17:00
  • @RobZ - But old joint injuries often contain arthritis. I think this is the same question, or at least has the same answer unless you can provide a claim that precludes the presence of Arthritis.
    – Chad
    Aug 29, 2012 at 13:28
  • @RobZ - I knew people in High school that had arthritis in injury locations. The burden here is on you to find a notable claim that is explicitly outside of the scope of that question. Currently your question falls completely into the scope of that question. You do not have to be elderly to have arthritis. Read This for more on who can get arthritis
    – Chad
    Aug 29, 2012 at 14:43
  • @RobZ - You do not have a notable claim about scar tissue. Just that a knee is acting up. If you can find a claim that says the scar tissue is the problem then this would be a different question.
    – Chad
    Aug 29, 2012 at 14:56
  • @RobZ - You still lack a notable claim that scar tissue pain can be affected by the weather. And the answers to the linked question still apply.
    – Chad
    Aug 29, 2012 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


A doctor/researcher at Harvard Medical School concludes that barometric pressure is the one area of "weather" that does physically affect the human body because pressure affects bones, tissues and cavities (eg. sinuses).

However, he says that rain and snow are utterly inconclusive:

Although many people say that their pain worsens with damp, rainy weather, research has shown that it's not the cold, wind, rain, or snow

Robert Jamison and others agree that pressure is the only real link between weather and pain.

Arthritis writers point out that thunderstorms may actually make allergies worse, exactly the opposite of conventional wisdom which says that "storms wash pollutants out of the air". Evidently, trips to the emergency room for asthma attacks increase in the days following storms.

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