Osteoarthritis can leave joints feeling stiff and uncomfortable. For some, this can get even worse in the summer months. It might surprise you just how much some people are affected by changes in the weather.

Our joints contain sensory nerves called baroceptors which respond to changes in the weather. How do baroceptors work? When the weather is rainy and damp, the barometric pressure is low, which causes our muscles and ligaments to expand. For those of us who already have muscle or joint pain, expansion can cause irritation in those sensitive areas.

High humidity can also cause pressure to increase in joints. Why? On hot, humid days many of us sweat excessively. While our bodies produce sweat to keep us cool, it’s only when that sweat evaporates that we actually experience the cool down.

On high humidity days when there’s a high level of moisture in air, it can be difficult for the air to absorb the moisture from our skin, which could ultimately lead to loss of body fluid and dehydration. Joint cartilage has a high water content, and this could decrease the concentration of fluid in those areas, further irritating osteoarthritis symptoms.

It’s important to remember to stay hydrated, and aim to drink 1-2 glasses of water for every hour that you are outside. While no climate is perfect for managing osteoarthritis symptoms, research studies testing potential OA treatments could help. If you or someone you love is suffering from OA pain and looking for new treatment options to help manage symptoms, local studies are enrolling now at Stamford Therapeutics. Participants often receive care from board-certified physicians and other medical staff, and may receive compensation for time and travel expenses. To learn more about these studies and to see if you qualify CLICK HERE.