Can exposure to cold cause arthritis?

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There is not much research on this aspect of arthritis, but from what is known, cold weather does not cause arthritis or make arthritis worse. Arthritic pains are however, felt more intensely by some patients when the weather is cold. One theory is that inflammed joints swell as barometric pressure drops. This swelling irritates the nerves around the joints that sense pain. The bottom line is that while the exact cause(s) of the activation of arthritis symptoms may not yet be scientifically understood, each patient must make lifestyle and/or medication adjustments according to the particular weather conditions that they note influence their symptoms. While on the subject of cold weather, let me mention that muscle cramps can increase when muscles are made to work hard without adequate warm up especially during cold weather. Raynaud’s phenomenon also worsens when it is cold. This is a condition wherein there is bluish discoloration or extreme paleness of the fingers and/or toes when ... more
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