Woman in distress with clouds surrounding her

The Effect of Weather on Psoriatic Arthritis: Under Atmospheric Pressure

From time to time I am forced to remember that my body is a biological being and that other environmental and biological things can affect it.

Have you ever seen sheep before a rainstorm? Sometimes it can be days or hours before the rain comes when sheep begin to do these sweet little hops as if there are springs under their feet. Now, this could have exclusively been the sheep where my Dad farmed but this act quickly became one of my favorite things about them. It is as if they can feel the rain coming.

How do they know? Is it a change is an atmospheric pressure that alerts them?

Connecting weather and psoriatic arthritis

Since my diagnosis of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, the weather has been a massive role player in my health. Summer will bring partial remission where winters can bring full flares. When I was doing some reading up on this, I found something very interesting. When our bodies feel the air pressure changes on the outside, they create some magic to adjust the air pressure on the inside.

Even a small change in air pressure can trigger an arthritis flare-up.

The effect weather has on joints

I was never really sure how the weather affected my joints; all I knew is that it did. Having heard people say it for years, “a storm is coming I can feel it in my bones.

Clearly I did not major in biology, as there was so much that was new to me. I know now that my joints hold air in them. Equally important our old injuries have a greater pocket of air. When the seasons change, the atmospheric pressure also changes. The pressure outside the body is lower than the pressure inside your body and injured joints. Adapting the change to a new low-pressure system can cause a distinct discord in your body.

This discord is what causes discomfort and pain. When the seasons start going back to summer and a higher pressure system arrives, swelling reduces and with that our pain levels decrease again.  

The effect weather has on skin

My biggest trigger is the weather. Winter is a nightmare, flares are uncontrollable and pain levels are ridiculously high. Honestly, I have no idea if it has something to do with the atmospheric pressure at all. What I do know for is that I can feel a change on my skin and my joints when the seasons change.

The deeper into winter I get the, worse my skin becomes. The aches and pains of my body become a regular occurrence and become the hardest trigger to control.

Weathering the psoriatic arthritis storm

People living with psoriatic arthritis over time learn what triggers their symptoms and can incorporate strategies to manage their pain and swelling, indicating the understanding that comes with experience. Planning ahead, use of layers, keeping active and using the warmth and comfort of water are a few care management tips when the weather looks rough ahead.

Stay safe out there.

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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.

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