How Weather Affects My Fibromyalgia Pain Levels

How Weather Affects My Fibromyalgia Pain Levels

Editor’s Note: Fibromyalgia Patient Specialist and Blogger Robin Dix writes a column on Fibromyalgia News Today about health and lifestyle issues relating to the condition. In her first post, she talks about her own experiences with Fibromyalgia and how seasons and weather often increase her pain levels. Be sure to tune in every week to Robin’s new column and engage with her in your own experiences with Fibromyalgia.

The cold, the rain, the humidity, snow, and basically any change in the weather will affect my pain. Let’s break it down a bit: since I live in the Northeast, I experience a lot of different weather. The heat and humidity of Summer, the cooler, damper weather of Fall, the incredible cold of Winter, and the amazing season called Spring.

Since it’s Summer currently, I’ll start there. In order to escape the hot and humid weather, I try to stay in an air conditioned space. For me, the majority of that time is in my bedroom. If the air is too cold my legs and hips experience increased pain. So, I’m constantly adjusting the temperature to minimize the pain. If it’s too warm, I will tend to feel weaker and nauseas. It’s a constant battle.

When it rains, or even if it’s just cloudy and the air is more moist, it increases my pain all over. At times, this forces me to take pain meds, but I work hard to avoid them when possible. I love the sound and smell of rain, but my body rebels. That’s when the heating pads come out.

I absolutely love the first snow of the season! It’s beautiful and so sparkly white. My pain level soars in the cold and dampness of winter. It can become a deterrent and distraction from the things I want/need to do. Warm blankets and heating pads become my constant companions. It can be so frustrating not enjoying the beauty of winter due to the distraction of pain.

I really enjoy watching a good thunder and lightening storm … it’s magical and dangerous at the same time. The pain it causes reminds me of having the flu and every area of your body hurts. If you’ve ever experienced all over pain due to fever or illness, multiply that pain by about 5 and you’ll come close to the pain I experience.

Pain robs me of the simple pleasure of just enjoying all the various seasons.

My hope is that this helps friends and caregivers have a greater understanding, and my fellow spoonies traveling with me will know I’m privileged to be a voice for you.

Be sure to read my blog article on Fibromyalgia and Marriage next!

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this blog article are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Fibromyalgia.

20 comments

  1. Laurence Badgley, M.D. says:

    Cold causes soft tissues, the primary pain generators in Fibromyalgia, to contract and increase tension and painful spasm within these tissues. Generalized body pain increases when the barometric pressure decreases before a storm, as the body slightly expands causing joints to lossen and impose increased mechanical stress on ligaments that tether these joints. Topical cannabis lotions are effective at relieving soft tissue spasms and pain. See my essays at G+.

    • Valiant says:

      I looked at some of your essays. You wrote about lactate and muscle spacticity in FM. I find marijuana helps FM a lot and my state lists muscle spasm as one symptom that medical marijuana is allowed for under, “compassionate use’. I am wondering if what you wrote about is the same as what my state lists? I copied and pasted the text from it to here: “Cancer, or any other physical condition that produces chronic symptoms of severe seizures and muscle spasms; OR
      • Symptoms of cancer, or any other physical condition that produces chronic symptoms of severe seizures and muscle spasms.”

      What you wrote above and on G+: 2. Surface Electro-Myography (SEMG) documentation of widely ranging muscle spasm

      Are these both the same symptom (without the severe seizures). I don’t know if having spasm without seizure is even allowed. Or if low THC content and high CBD only marijuana that is allowed for in my state will be ineffective. Do you happen to know anything about the latter?

      Thank you for your valuable input,
      Valiant

  2. Kay M says:

    I live in California, with its hot summers & mild winters. I have a swamp cooler that puts a lot of moisture in the air. Spring was ok, but when it was time to turn the cooler in my pain level rose significantly. I’ve been wondering how that affects fms pain. Wishing you all a low pain day!

    • Robin Dix says:

      I’m not familiar with a swamp cooler, what is that exactly? For me, my pain is most affected by cold, damp, or really hot/humid weather.

  3. Kim Weaver says:

    I just wanted to say thank you. I do experience pain with the weather/season change. And even more pain with extremes in the weather. If I get too cold I get severe muscle cramps and pain. If it is too hot I am weak and breathing is difficult. I also try to avoid the heavy pain medicines so that I can continue to work. But ibuprofen only goes so far.

    Thank you for sharing so that others can understand.

    Kim

    • Robin Dix says:

      Kim, I totally understand, that’s what happens to me too. In really hot and humid weather, I get more exhausted and nauseas. I’m so thankful for this platform to reach others and let them know they are not alone

  4. Kristina says:

    I am new to this life of fibromyalgia, only I think I have had it for years and it has all come to a head. Along with fibromyalgia I have Raynauds Disease in my hands and feet, osteoarthritis and degenerative disk disease. The storms in our area lately (missouri) have been unreal and it causes me to hurt so bad. What are some things I can do to help? Any ideas would be helpful.

    • Robin Dix says:

      Kristina, it’s interesting to me that most people I know with fibromyalgia also have other issues as well. I find that heating pads work well. You could also take a relaxing bath with Epsom salts and some lavender essential oil. Is it a possibility to move somewhere warmer?

  5. Linda L Kolbek says:

    Last night I took an Epsom salt bath, then drank some warm almond milk with turmeric in it and fell asleep like a baby only to be awoken up by aching pains in my arms (remember in school the kids would punch each others arms to see who could stand the pain ?), well, that’s what it felt like. I woke up to see several inches of snow on the ground. It’s amazing how our body just knows….

  6. Teri says:

    I live in Sydney Australia. Our weather is all over the place, but it is currently Autumn, which, over the last few years, means the temperature can go from hot to cold, dry to rainy, etc. in a few hours, until about the end of April. Yesterday was pleasantly moderate, today it’s very hot and humid. My pain is pretty high – maybe 80% of the worst I’ve ever experienced. Don’t know what to do but rest. Sigh.

      • Beverly Lopez-Sims says:

        I live in Atlanta and it’s spring and we have had a few rainy days that have brought me to my knees.my pain is all over and unbearable. I appreciate knowing that i am not the only one.I am in bed with my meds because even a run to the bathroom is a feat.

  7. Pam says:

    The muscle pain can be very tough but in some ways I think the burning in my hands and my arms being so uncomfortable I can’t stand for them to touch my sides and just can’t get comfortable. Last night I finally went to one of our dispensaries in Colorado and got some Cannabis cream. That helped quite a bit. I’m hoping it will always help. Any other ideas?

    • Ana says:

      Hello my name is Anna and I’m new to this . I have been experiencing terrible pains, mostly on my hands, feet, upper back and knees , today had been devastating, the pain level went from 10 to a 20, it has been raining all day. Can someone please tell me if they get this sharp, burning, tingling pains specially on hands

      • Pamla Sterner says:

        Yes I get the burning sensation in my hands, my fingers tingle,my feet feel numb, and the sharp pain happens without warning but luckily isn’t a continuous thing, it goes away as quickly as it comes but can continue for an hour. I have found that Synergy, a cannibas cream (I live in Colorado so this is readily available helps with the burning and general uncomfortable feeling but it doesn’t seem to do anything for the extreme muscle pain.

  8. Pamla Sterner says:

    After 20+ years of struggling with fibromyalgia, I had pretty much given up hope until I started working at a school where we have a personal trainer program. I had a personal trainer student (and at first, an instructor too) four days a week for about 6 months at no cost to me. We worked out about 45 minutes a day. I knew the doctor would say exercise, but she never said what kind of exercise. I learned how to stretch problem areas, how to strengthen my core by breathing deeper, walking differently, etc., and improve my cardio. It is amazing how it helped flare ups to become much more manageable. We discontinued the program three weeks ago, during the time we have had almost daily rain (unusual for our high desert climate) and the flare ups have been horrible. So I am going to hire a personal trainer once a week and see if I can stay with the program. I highly recommend a personal trainer. Ask if he/she has experience with fibromyalgia.

  9. Diane Portas says:

    I am originally from Massachusetts and hated the cold because of the increase with pain and fatigue, I found early Autumn at least until the 2nd or 3rd week in Oct. to be fairly tolerable as well as early spring. But since it has gotten worse with age, I decided to move to Florida so it wouldn’t be as bad. Not the best move either!. I find that the humidity also affects my Fibro and the best time for me here is actually the winter time!!

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