Does the weather cause inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients? We review the science

Good day! It’s Clint Paddison here from Do you feel that the weather impacts your joint pain? That’s what we’re going to talk about in this video to find out whether we’re going crazy or if there’s some science behind it.

Pressure And Rheumatoid Arthritis

The first study we’re going to look at is on osteoarthritis because we get osteoarthritis for free when we have rheumatoid arthritis long enough in some of our joints. In a study on osteoarthritic knees, they found that despite anecdotal reports from patients in other words, despite people thinking that it’s true, the change in weather factors does not appear to influence the risk of pain exacerbation in persons with knee osteoarthritis. But what about the more inflammatory arthritis, the autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis? A study was done in 1990 that showed that pain was associated with barometric pressure and temperature for rheumatoid arthritis. Air pressure can be affected by the weather and changes in condition, but it also can be affected by altitude. As we increase elevation or altitude, the air pressure diminishes. To investigate air pressure and rheumatoid arthritis further, a study was done in Japan. This study looked at 2,131 patients and the data was analyzed and found there was an inverse association between air pressure and rheumatoid arthritis synovitis. Meaning that the greater the air pressure, the less synovitis in patients. With this relationship between atmospheric pressure and synovitis, it’s interesting to take it a step further and look at hyperbaric oxygen chambers. Hyperbaric oxygen chambers are very high-pressure chambers where oxygen concentration and pressure are increased. When a pilot study was done on just 10 people with inflammatory arthritis, it was found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is effective for joint pain in patients with RA based on data from multiple validated clinical measures. We can’t draw too much from that study given that it was only a small group of 10 people and also there were additional variations in hyperbaric oxygen therapy rather than just the pressure. However, it’s an interesting observation. If you are concerned with your relationship between atmospheric pressure and rheumatoid arthritis because perhaps you live in a high altitude, then see how your joints feel next time you go to sea level atmospheric pressure such as going to the beach. Again, there are more variables at play, being on holiday, being probably in more sunshine and feeling of wellness and liberation of being away from home. However, just see whether or not you feel there is a correlation.

Temperature And Rheumatoid Arthritis

What about temperature? Temperature is where it gets really, really interesting because a Swedish study showed that there is a relationship between the amount of indoor and outdoor cold exposure and the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Interestingly, there was not a dose-dependent relationship between working outdoors in a cold environment and developing rheumatoid arthritis. It seems that the more you do outside doesn’t necessarily further increase the risk. Perhaps that’s because when we’re working outside, maybe we’re more physically active, maybe we’re engaging more in work that’s enjoyable outdoors, and so that remains to be answered. However, there is a relationship between cold weather exposure work and developing rheumatoid arthritis.


In conclusion, we’ve seen a relationship between atmospheric pressure and synovitis, the more pressure, the less synovitis. We’ve also seen that cold exposure can increase our risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, so those relationships do exist with inflammatory arthritis. What does the weather do to your joints? Let me know in the comments to this video, I hope you found it useful. If you want a coaching program where we can assist you, navigate not just issues related to weather and how to overcome short-term flares associated with that, but managing your disease overall so you get the maximum health and minimum symptoms. Head over to I’ll see you in the next video.

Clint Paddison

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  1. شكرا لك

    فعلا الطقس له عامل كبير مع زيادة الالتهاب المفاصل الروماتودي
    بالنسبه لي

  2. The cold weather really affects joints! I recently moved to a warm climate and it's been much better

  3. I definitely find the day before it rains l am more inflamed with my RA and when it is hot and humid my joints swell and get very painful.Best times of the year for me is Spring and Fall.

  4. You are totally wrong about barometric pressure no affecting osteoarthritis sufferers. I have had this for over 40 years and I definitely feel extra pain when it rains. I live at sea level in sub tropical Queensland where it does not rain much. I am also affected by cooler weather. I have been on the Paddison Programme for 6/7 years and it helps.

  5. Hi Clint, I find that damp weather increases pain and deformity in my RA. I live in a hot dry climate and at the times of year where there is more moisture in the air I run dehumidifiers, which seem to help.

  6. The weather affects me a lot
    I live in Vancouver BC Canada and we get a lot of rainy weather
    About 2 days prior to rain I get fatigue and at times have pain in a joint 😔

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