Feeling the Chill: Weather Patterns and Psoriatic Arthritis

I’m not going to lie. I really thought it was an old wives’ tale. I thought it was just silly or all in my head. That is, until I noticed the patterns for myself. What patterns? That would be weather patterns. Because of my psoriatic arthritis, I am like a human barometer. I don’t need to watch the weather report because my body tells me everything I need to know.

Feeling the chill: Cold front headed this way

It is hard to describe the bone chilling aches that overcome my body when a cold front is coming through. If I could stay in a hot tub literally all day, I would. I really don’t think people understand the meaning of the term achingly cold until they’ve lived through winter with psoriatic arthritis. What’s worse is that I know it is coming, I can feel it, yet I am powerless to stop it. Brrrr.

Rain, rain, go away

Damp and cold, wet air is all around. The clouds roll in and so does my pain. I am sure there is some long-winded scientific explanation for what happens to my body when the rain falls outside my window. I’m sure it has something to do with the whole barometric pressure changes or something like that. But all I know for sure it that it is terrible.

Yet another thing…

I’ve noticed that there are certain things that clearly lead my down the road to Flareland. Stress, certain foods, excessive activities are just a few. I never thought that there would be yet another thing that can impact how I feel. The weather? Really? Come on, can’t a girl catch a break once in a while?

I wish I could say there was a simple solution, or even one that worked really well. If there is one, I’ve yet to find it. Short of moving to a place with perfect weather year-round, there are only a few obvious things you can do to “lessen” the effects of the weather patterns.

Get your heat on

A hot bath, or better yet, a long soak in a hot tub, can work to raise your core body temperature and take the chill off joints.  While these measures are only temporary, I tend to believe some relief is much better than no relief at all. Heating pads, mattress pads, electric blankets and throws, I love to pile them all on.

Get moving

I know, I don’t really like this one any more than you do. When I feel the aching cold in the air, the last thing I want to do is crawl out from under my blankie and get my body moving. Sadly though, in my experience, this seems to help the most.  Even if you keep the movements brief and non-strenuous the blood flowing to your muscles and joints is like the Tin Man getting much-needed squirts from the oil can.

I’m sure I can’t be alone in this. How does the rainy, cold weather affect your psoriatic arthritis symptoms? What are your favorite ways to get some relief from the chill?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


View Comments (5)
  • AuntJana
    10 months ago

    The weather really affects me terribly too. Every temperature change up OR down puts me in a flare. The pressure from the barometric changes is obscene. Every day it is up 10 degrees, maybe 20 then another day it is dropping like a rock and it causes the joints to swell and ache. The best way I have understood it is like an encapsulated fluid that resides in our joint space and depending on the pressure in the air is how the fluid will react. Yesterday, we had a record high of 78 degrees. I wish I could say it was a great day but it wasn’t. Today, it dropped and is 44 degrees at present and falling. As a result my swelling is off the charts, hot flashes and chills and back ache that does not retreat. In PA where I live it has been a roller coaster February. Yes, who knew that the weather could make such a negative impact on our bodies inside and out.
    I might add when it is cold here and stays a steady temperature, I can cope. Not a fan of the cold but my body does adjust.

  • ClassiLadi
    9 months ago

    I live in Ohio and the weather is very similar. I have a few more years until the kids finish school then I am moving to somewhere that is friendly to me. I feel as if I am doing prison time until then.

  • VickiN moderator
    9 months ago

    @classiladi, take me with you! Canadian winters are not kind to me. I need to get off Instagram where I spend all sorts of time looking at tropical beaches, lol. Any ideas where you might move?
    -Victoria, Community Moderator

  • imschmarte
    10 months ago

    You must live near me Aunt Jana. Same here for February. All time high temp, and then back down we go. I had the worst flare ever in my life this month. It was horrible. So I know for a fact weather influences the disease. And it is something we can’t change or fight, so acceptance is mandatory. I am fortunate to have a husband who understands my condition, and I was able to hibernate that week. Wish everyone had that option!!

  • AuntJana
    9 months ago

    Hi, I just say your reply. Thanks….

    I think February was one of the worst months I have endured. I feel like I am in a non stop flare. I think the Zeljanz I am taking has stopped working, it is not effective at all. I don’t know what else to try.

    I agree, my husband is very helpful, I thank God he is supportive, I just feel so guilty that I am always sick.

    Take care and be well.

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