The Nine Best Places to Live with Osteoarthritis
If you could pack up your house and move so that you could improve your arthritic pain, would you?
If you answered “yes” to that question, where are the best places to go?
The Arthritis and Weather Connection
First of all, is there a connection between arthritis and the weather?
Who hasn’t heard someone say, “I knew there was a storm brewing because my knee hurts!”
I’d bet that if you did a quick Google search, you could find a slew of anecdotal “evidence” on internet forums, discussing the weather connection.
Well, my fellow OA friends, there may be scientific evidence to back up these claims!
The Arthritis Foundation reviewed various studies and found that there may be a link between barometric pressure and hip pain. A 2014 study found that sufferers of OA of the hip had increased symptoms with barometric pressure fluctuations. Another study revealed that a 10-degree drop in temperature, as well as rising barometric pressure, caused incremental increases in OA pain.
What about rain? According to Healthline, Elaine Husni, a rheumatologist from the Cleveland Clinic, says that rain in the forecast won’t make arthritis worse, but it may cause pain to worsen temporarily.
Best Places to Live with OA in the USA
If you’re seriously thinking about moving to improve your pain – or at least spending the winter somewhere warmer – here are several options that may appeal to you:
Phoenix boasts a warm climate year-round, there are minimal barometric pressure changes, and the humidity is generally low. However, there is a rainy season in July where symptoms may worsen, but this is typically short. There are also many senior communities.
San Diego, California
San Diego is warm year-round, and despite its locale close to the ocean, it has low humidity. The barometric pressure is typically steady.
Also, there are some renowned medical clinics, and hospitals treat arthritic conditions in San Diego.
Colorado has a reputation for being snowy and cold, but Denver is located on a semi-arid plain; humidity is typically low, and the extreme snowfall is in the mountains.
Tucson boasts two seasons – summer and winter. Though summer temperatures can exceed 100 degrees, the climate is arid, though humidity may increase in late summer, while “winter” is mild and dry. Tucson is also home to the University of Arizona Medical Center (UAMC), which is a nationally ranked hospital that houses the Arizona Arthritis Center.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Like other southwest cities on this list, Albuquerque is hot and dry with little rain. Mountains and highlands surround the city which creates a “rain shadow” effect, meaning that it gets very little rain or snow.
According to Creaky Joints, “Maryland scored the highest marks for the best state to live in with arthritis because it has a very high concentration of rheumatologists and a low rate of residents without health insurance. It also boasts many CDC-funded arthritis intervention programs, including those run by the YMCA and the National Recreation and Park Association. Part of these perks come thanks to legislation that’s made it easier and more affordable to live with a rheumatic disease in the state of Maryland.”
Best Places to Live with OA Overseas
What about those who want to move internationally? Where’s the best place to move – or travel long-term – then?
Australia, in general, is warm and dry most of the year. However, Sydney is a great place for OA sufferers because of its walkability! Sydney is a very walkable city – mostly everything is in walking distance, and we all know that walking is a fantastic exercise for those with OA.
Though the climate is a bit cooler, Paris doesn’t have extreme temperature fluctuations. Most Parisians also consume a diet that is high in vitamin K; vitamin K reduces inflammation in the body (a hallmark symptom of OA) and strengthens bones.
Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of moving or spending an extended period of time in Athens is consuming a Mediterranean diet, a staple in Greece. Most Greeks consume a diet rich in olive oil, fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and fish, all of which may help to reduce inflammation.
The Bottom Line…
Regardless of the climate, many people prefer to live near their healthcare provider. So, moving to another state (or country) is ultimately up to you.