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Fibromyalgia Pain and the Weather

  • Published: 2011-11-14 (Revised/Updated 2018-06-04) : Author: Disabled World : Contact:
  • Synopsis: Large percentage of people claim the weather directly affects their fibromyalgia symptoms and pain levels.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition and people with it often describe symptoms of hurting all over their body and feeling consistently exhausted. Fibromyalgia can cause widespread musculoskeletal pain, along with fatigue, sleep problems, memory issues, mood changes, tension headaches, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), irritable bowel syndrome, and depression.

People with fibromyalgia often claim their symptoms can vary according to temperature changes with symptoms worsening for some, and providing relief for others. In 1981, a study reported that a large percentage of Fibromyalgia patients may be more sensitive to changes in weather compared to non-Fibromyalgia subjects. The study revealed 90% of patients reported that weather conditions were one of the most important factors influencing their Fibromyalgia pain and symptoms.

Fibromyalgia changes were experienced in:

A Reuters Health Report Article Stated

fig 1. The location of the 9 paired tender points that comprise the 1990 American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia.About This Image: fig 1. The location of the 9 paired tender points that comprise the 1990 American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia.Cool temperatures, humidity and high atmospheric pressure may be associated with spontaneous pain among individuals with arthritis or fibromyalgia, new study findings show.

"These results support the belief that weather influences rheumatic pain, albeit in different ways, depending on the (underlying disease) and (the patient's) weather sensitivity," report Dr. Ingrid Strusberg of the Centro Reumatologico Strusberg in Cordoba City, Argentina, and her colleagues.

Strusberg's team analyzed questionnaire responses from 151 individuals with fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. In the study, participants reported on their pain symptoms and causes over one year. For comparison, the researchers also looked at 32 healthy individuals. These reports were correlated with meteorological data for the Cordoba area.

The researchers found that for participants with all three conditions, pain was significantly associated with low temperature.

In addition, pain was related to high humidity and high atmospheric pressure among rheumatoid arthritis patients, and high humidity among osteoarthritis patients, according to findings published in the February issue of the Journal of Rheumatology.

For those with fibromyalgia, pain was associated with low temperature and high atmospheric pressure. No correlation between weather and pain was found among individuals in the comparison group, the authors note.

According to Strusberg's team, the idea that weather affects joint pain is an "ancient belief" that still persists. But experts question whether this effect is a true physiological phenomenon or just a "false notion" of a relationship where there is none.

"Our study," they write, "supports the possibility that meteorological factors can have some effect on spontaneous pain in rheumatic patients."

SOURCE: Journal of Rheumatology 2002;29:335-338 -

Weather Factors Appearing to Affect Fibromyalgia Symptoms Include

Medications That May Help Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain Include

However, medication that works for one person may have no effect on another. Your Rheumatologist or your primary care physician can play an instrumental role in help identifying which medications work best in various situations.

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