Arthritis and the weather

Hi guys,

With the weather changing, I’ve found my joints to be flaring more often and that I’m really stiff. It’s worse when it’s dam?

Does anyone know why this is?

Does anyone have any tips to combat this?

Scotland in the winter, isn’t friendly too these joints 🤣


  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 84

    I used to think this was an old wives tale about the weather. Nearly thirty years of rheumatoid arthritis has convinced me otherwise.

  • Lane
    Lane Member Posts: 113

    Hello @LynnL welcome to our friendly community.

    I understand you have joint flare ups and stiffness from RA. I have attached a link for you to have a look at:

    Keep posting I am sure other members will share their tips with you too.

    All the best.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,686

    This research on 'Cloudy with a chance of pain' was funded by Versus Arthritis.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Fran54
    Fran54 Member Posts: 171


    I found that with all the persistent rain we have had over the last week, my knee and the surrounding area were really aching and feeling more stiffer than usual. I had recently purchased a wheat bag which you heat up in the microwave and found that using this did help with the aching and stiffness. If you haven't already tried this, give it a go. I hope this info. helps.

    Take care.🙂

  • Skinny Keef
    Skinny Keef Member Posts: 862

    Yes definitely affects my pain levels.

    I said the other morning to my wife that I had more pain than normal and she said look out of the window, I did, it was raining for the first time in ages and the temperature was down.

    i lived in Spain for 7 years, I had pain there, but no where near as bad as here.

  • Woofy
    Woofy Member Posts: 254

    Def makes my pain worse.

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    A number of us took part in the university research, myself over about eighteen months and there is no doubt about the findings, Air pressure is 14.7 psi, our joints are at about 8psi so a change in air pressure caused by high and low systems affecting us is hardly deniable. However the link to air pressure is not proven only that the weather causes a link. And who doesn’t like a warmer climate?

    it’s a grin, honest!

  • Rachj
    Rachj Member Posts: 2

    Thank goodness it’s not just me then! My mum had RA too and I have to admit I do feel a bit bad when I was younger I used to tell her it was an old wives tale.

  • Poppyjane
    Poppyjane Moderator Posts: 721

    Welcome @Rachj to the online community,

    Sorry to be high jacking the thread to welcome a new member. Hello @Rachj , as you can see there are numbers of us who have different sorts of arthritis who definitely feel affected by the weather. The old wives tale of "I can feel it in my bones!" springs to mind.

    We are a safe and friendly place to share our experiences of living with arthritis, so do look round the community especially the "Living with Arthritis " section. You have RA and if you have any tips or concerns from your everyday experience we would appreciate hearing from you.

    Take Care


    If it would be helpful to talk to someone ring the Helpline 0800 5200 520

    Monday - Friday 9.00a.m. - 6.00p.m.

  • LynnL
    LynnL Member Posts: 6

    The weather is not friendly to us all, just an excuse for more holidays in the winter to the hot 😎

    The research done was a great a read, sent it to all my friends and family to prove I’m not daft 🤣 they all think I’m their personal weather woman.

    Hope you are all managing to stay warm ☺️

  • JenHB
    JenHB Member Posts: 130

    Yesterday was particularly bad for me (but then it was a horrible wet day). Although I think my knees don't like the heat either! (They didn't like the high 30s we had earlier this year - the rest of me didn't either)

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    Jen-b , it may be you are affected by low systems (bad weather) and the heat because you’re up and about more which means more use of your knees and more weight on them? I have noticed that the pain you notice is the one that hurts the most, it tends to dwarf the other pain sites.

    Just a different way of thinking?

    My explanation of high and low pressures was rather simplistic. Pressure 100 to 1050 in millibars, there are various measurements used. . The numbers refer to the weight of the air, higher pressure is heavier and sinks causing stable conditions. If anyone wants to get really nerdie about the weather have a look at or, you can change all the parameters and look at different heights such as the Polar jetsream which heads out over the North Atlantic towards us. Yes, I know I’m a nerd, I fly and sail so like to know what’s happening.

    pits a grin, honest!

  • How are folk coping with using heat sources less, I feel permanently cold ?

  • My breathing doesn't appear to suit naproxen. I'm a driver by trade so have to stay off the codeine during the day.

    I'm out and about in all weathers and have been for years and years. Damp on it's own I can handle. Even cold on it's own is tolerable. Put them both together, ie, cold & damp and I feel it's effects keenly.

    Given my restricted drug use I went out and got myself a tens machine for about £20. I find it useful (temporarily) on my back. (Arthritic sacral joint)

    Not a cure all or instant pain relief but for me, momentarily takes the edge off.

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    I have used a Tens machine to good affect, the hospital based ones are much more powerful than the domestic machines. As my illness became more pronounced the less affect the machine had, pity. I don’t know what the market is like these days, I don’t suppose the power output has changed significantly? Another string in the anti arther armoury.

    its a grin, honest!

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

  • Fran54
    Fran54 Member Posts: 171


    Yesterday we had more rain and colder weather which didn't help with the stiffness and aching knee and surrounding area. Also, both my legs felt heavy and found it hard to get upstairs, even in bed my right leg with the arthritis still felt heavy and achy even when lying down. Does anyone else suffer with heavy/achy legs, especially in the damp/cold weather?

  • LynnL
    LynnL Member Posts: 6


    Definitely a big worry for us all, heating prices and effects on our joints this winter.

    One of my colleagues at work recommended an electric blanket? They are cheaper than putting the heating on but can still heat the whole room. Just a suggestion?

    I live with my hot water bottle constantly carrying it about 🤣 in an attempt not to get cold.

  • LynnL
    LynnL Member Posts: 6

    Hi Fran54,

    Sorry to hear, your not having a good time.

    I have experienced similar pain with my knees, but found it was when I was particularly tired. When having aches I tend to limit the time on my feet, use hot compresses when sitting.

    Have you spoke to your arthritis team? They might be able to help or physio? They always tips and tricks.

    Hope you are feeling better ❤️xx

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,242

    Wrapping up warm @LynnL @Fran54 a blanket on me when watching TV sitting that sort of thing helps me I also have my trusty microwavable wheatbags (I have several) on the go on any achy bits.

    I have always been scared of electric blankets and also they wouldn't help with the hot flushes!

    Best of Luck

    Toni x

  • Angel666
    Angel666 Member Posts: 47

    First year of RA & yes noticing the damp weather definitely makes joints worse 🙄 struggling to have heating on so soon as I'm home on goes my oodie, pj bottoms, fluffy slippers & grab a hotwater bottle ☺️

  • Fran54
    Fran54 Member Posts: 171

    Hi LynnL

    I think the reason being that I don't always sleep well at night, often waking still tired and over the days I gradually feel more tired. I also had a bad day and was feeling quite sorry for myself and this combination probably caused my legs feeling heavy. I didn't do my physio exercises for a few days but have started again and am feeling a lot better thank you. I have recently bought myself a wheat bag and do intend to start using it on a regular basis.

    Hope you are well and take care.🙂