Did you know that one in five adults suffer from some form of arthritis? That’s more than 46 million people. Arthritis comes in many forms, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid and juvenile arthritis. Its most common symptoms are stiffness in the joints, pain, fatigue, and lack of mobility. For seniors in particular, this disease can make everyday tasks painful or nearly impossible. Though arthritis can be controlled through a number of different treatments and medications, the climate where the arthritis sufferer lives can make a huge difference in their level of comfort.
Arthritis affects many parts of the body, even the skin and internal organs, but it is most commonly known as the inflammation of the joints. Most people start noticing arthritis in smaller joints, such as wrists, knees and fingers, but any joint in the body can be affected by arthritis. When joints become inflamed, it leads to pain, swelling and possibly permanent damage to joint tissue. The pain and inflammation of arthritis is usually controlled through the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, but other treatments include light to moderate exercise and physical therapy.
While few doctors would tell a patient to move to the Southwest for relief from arthritis, most would agree that this region offers the best chance of long-lasting relief from day to day pain. According to a study conducted by teams of researchers from Johns Hopkins, rheumatoid arthritis sufferers were adversely affected by high humidity and high barometric pressure. Osteoarthritis sufferers were affected only by high humidity. Researchers concluded that while the actual course of the disease was not affected by the climate, those living in warm, dry climates had fewer flare ups. In addition to avoiding the adverse effects of humidity or the stiffness that comes from cold temperatures, seniors who live in Arizona avoid dealing with snow and ice.
Beneficial climates for arthritis
If Arizona or other Southwestern states are out of the question because they are too far away from friends and family, consider becoming a “snowbird” by spending the winter months here. Many retirees prefer the dry, warm climate of Arizona over the uncomfortable humidity of Florida. Avoiding the cold and damp weather of the Midwest and Northeast will do wonders for arthritis sufferers. The most important factor is selecting a place that fits your lifestyle. The Arthritis Foundation doesn’t recommend moving away from loved ones in favor of a better climate, as this may cause stress that will ultimately exacerbate the pain of arthritis.
If you want to improve your quality of life and relieve the pain of arthritis while enjoying the natural beauty of the American Southwest, Arizona is the ideal place to live.