The Effects of Altitude on Chronic Arthritis
Those of us who live with chronic arthritis understand the pain and difficulty it can create in our lives. Over the years I have searched for hidden answers in some hope of finding a miracle cure to ease the aches in my body. Some modern medications are expensive even with insurance, and in some countries access to those medications is nil. I have never found a complete answer.
After retiring I moved to Mexico—to one of the most sunny and peaceful environments I could find. It enabled me to reduce my medications by half. The sun and the heat have provided comfort that finally made me believe that location could very well be the start to solving my problems.
Climate and Joint Pain
Long ago I started looking into how the climate can affect joint pain. Some people may or may not be as sensitive to incoming weather, but there is some curiosity there. I myself feel nothing in a rain storm, but in a more permanent environment have had vast improvements. So why is it people are sensitive to short term weather effects? This led me to investigate barometric pressure. Low pressure gradients mix with high pressure gradients and things change quickly allowing some to feel the effects before the first drop of rain falls. This further pushed me to consider other areas of the globe with high or low barometric pressure.
- Weather and Joint Pain: What's the Link?
WebMD talks to experts about the link between weather and joint pain.
So How About Altitude?
The natural progression for me to explore next seemed to be at locations in high altitude. I could find almost nothing. If you search yourself you will find the occasional forum with a few responses here or there but there is only one scientific article I could find and it is more than 30 years old. The best part of the article is that it is on our favor.
The study, Effects of high altitude stay on the incidence of common diseases in man, was published in June of 1977 and is the only such study I can find that brushes up on the effects of altitude on arthritis. Surprisingly I could find nothing else! The most amazing part of the study is that in higher altitudes many diseases, to include rheumatoid arthritis, showed that cases were "significantly lower." So there is indeed a chance that living in a higher altitude may help your arthritis.
Searching for alternative methods to treat chronic arthritis will bring you a lot of results to sort through. It is a shame that there are so few studies on obvious candidates that are likely to improve living with arthritis. Living at high altitudes may give you the peace you have been looking for. So the next time you consider moving, consider looking up.
Please comment below and share your story of living with arthritis at high altitudes. Also share any research you have found. It may help someone!