By: Dr Alex Robber
Weather plays a significant role in fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a disease that causes multiple symptoms, with the most common being general pain and tiredness. Many fibromyalgia sufferers say that the environment plays an important part in how they feel. Some temperatures can cause increased muscle pain, headaches and even depression in some patients with fibromyalgia.
There are other environmental features to look for when looking for the best climate, and others to avoid. The weather is one factor that could affect patient symptoms of fibromyalgia. Many temperatures are known to cause increased pain in the joints, head and depression in some patients with fibromyalgia. There are other things to remember when it comes to the right environment for patients suffering from fibromyalgia.
Effect of change in weather on pain
Climate changes showed important, but low, effect on symptoms of pain or fatigue in 10 percent of cases. Significant, minor variations were also observed in 20 per cent of cases between patient responses to weather. The researchers said differences between women’s response to weather conditions did not appear to be linked to functional or mental health status, demographics or changes related to seasonal or environmental conditions.
Five million people in the United States have fibromyalgia, with many more women than men. Although the cause of this chronic pain condition is uncertain, previous findings have shown that some individuals with fibromyalgia are more responsive to certain stimuli. Up to 92 per cent of people with this condition record symptoms worsening due to weather conditions.
Often for those with fibromyalgia, it’s not the actual environment that makes such a difference as having to adapt to one that doesn’t suit. Changes in the barometer can trigger symptoms, triggered by precipitation. The combination of humidity and barometric pressure makes someone with fibromyalgia feel worse that they are going to rain or snow before the weather actually takes place. There are some places–Florida in the summer where it rains nearly every day comes to mind–that can increase pain and discomfort with fibromyalgia.
A damp climate can also make the symptoms of fibromyalgia worse
A humid atmosphere can also make fibromyalgia symptoms worse. Hence a mix of hot and cold climate is a tough environment for pain sufferers. Someone with fibromyalgia should avoid areas like Alaska or the Midwest, where the weather is always cold due to the fact that during the cold winter the area gets a lot of snow.
In the Southern United States, warm areas may also cause more pain and other symptoms of fibromyalgia. Moisture in the air can cause muscle pain. Dryness, by contrast, is much more tolerable.
How Temperature Affects Musculoskeletal Disorders
Many people with musculoskeletal conditions have found that temperature makes a big difference in how they feel, especially those with fibromyalgia. Pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia have been shown to intensify by cold weather. On the other side, for those suffering from this pain condition. Pain in the joints, a atmosphere where temperature stays warmer is safer. Dryness, by contrast, is much more tolerable.
Humid conditions, including those in the southern United States, can cause more discomfort and cause other symptoms for a patient with fibromyalgia. Moisture in the air may be tantamount to more muscle discomfort, whereas dryness is more tolerable.
Best Climate for Fibromyalgia
Perhaps, the best climate for fibromyalgia is a stable dry and warm climate. The southwestern part of the US, such as New Mexico and Arizona, would fit in the ideal fibromyalgia weather pattern. For these areas the weather has less variations and is less likely to become cold.
Changes in the barometer
Often, it is not the real environment that separates patients with fibromyalgia. It is the ability of the patient to adapt to the environment which affects how the patient feels. Changes in the barometer caused by precipitation can also induce symptoms of fibrosis.
The combination of humidity and barometric pressure will make a suffering fibromyalgia feel worse than when it is about to snow or rain before the actual precipitation occurs. Some places can increase the feeling of pain and discomfort among those with fibromyalgia, such as the state of Florida which tends to rain almost every day.
In the latest study, published this month in the journal Arthritis Treatment & Research, 333 middle-aged women who had fibromyalgia were examined by Dutch researchers searching for associations between environmental factors and their pain and fatigue rates.
The researchers tracked humidity levels, air pressure, precipitation, temperature and period of sunlight over the course of a month, using data from a meteorological institute. They also found that in some cases weather variables have “significant but low” effects on pain and fatigue. But most of the time, they concluded, there was “more evidence against than in favor of a uniform weather effect on everyday pain and tiredness.”