Many people enjoy the changing of the seasons. Spring is often a favorite season, especially after a long, cold winter. But this is not true for those who suffer from fibromyalgia. Even though some studies claim there’s little official evidence supporting a link between weather symptoms and physical pain, fibromyalgia sufferers know otherwise from their experience. Rapid changes in barometric pressure and temperature are more likely to cause flare ups. Here’s what to watch for with fibromyalgia and spring and how to deal.
Fibromyalgia and Spring: Signals of Change
Most fibromyalgia patients can sense in their bodies when the weather is about to change. Symptoms resemble the early stages of what’s called a flare-up or “fibro flare,” with physical effects including pain and fatigue being especially pronounced. The significant point about weather changes and fibro flares is that the symptoms often occur just before the weather actually changes. Fibro sufferers sometimes joke that their bodies serve as their own personal weather forecast.
Fibromyalgia and Spring: Differences among Seasons
Winter is the season that usually causes the most health complaints for fibromyalgia sufferers. The cold weather seems to cause more pain, especially in the hands, hips, and legs. Based on that logic, it would seem that spring should be better than winter because the weather is starting to warm up. However, spring is not reliably warm every day, and there are more fluctuating temperature cycles between warm and cold. This variation can cause more discomfort.
Rain and Humidity
Spring is the rainy season in most places. The fact that spring rains put more moisture in the air can result in more arthritis-type symptoms, including muscle aches and stiffness. Cold and rainy weather in particular seems to bother many fibromyalgia sufferers. As rainy fronts move in, it causes the changes in barometric pressure that many find bothersome and painful. In general, spring has more extreme weather events, like thunderstorms, tornadoes and heavy rains.
One of the prettiest things about spring is the way all the plants come to life again after a dormant winter. However, the downside of fibromyalgia and spring is that when plants begin to bloom again in the spring, they also release pollens into the air. These pollens are a significant source of seasonal allergies for many people – not just people with fibromyalgia—and seasonal allergy symptoms can add to the misery that you may already be feeling due to the changes in the weather.
Although it’s more common for cold temperatures to bother fibromyalgia sufferers, some react badly to high temperatures instead. For this latter group, fibromyalgia and spring is the start of the season that will cause them the most discomfort and pain. Warm temperatures in spring are the conditions that cause them the most problems.
Coping with Weather Symptoms
Regardless of whether you are more bothered by cold temperatures, rain, or heat, it’s fairly likely that the weather will affect your experiences with fibromyalgia. It’s more important for you than for the average person to be prepared for any weather circumstances and to always dress appropriately. Spring is a great time to dress in layers so that you can add or remove layers as you get too warm or too cold. Be sure to always bring a spare pair of shoes as well so that you don’t have to deal with the discomfort of wearing cold, wet shoes all day after.