Adam C. Young, MD
Alan C. League, MD
Albert Knuth, MD
Alejandra Rodriguez-Paez, MD
Alexander E. Michalow, MD
Alexander Gordon, MD
Alfonso Bello, MD
Ami Kothari, MD
Amy Jo Ptaszek, MD
Anand Vora, MD
Andrea S. Kramer, MD
Andrew J. Riff, MD
Angela R. Crowley, MD
Angelo Savino, MD
Anthony Savino, MD
Anuj S. Puppala, MD
Ari Kaz, MD
Ashraf H. Darwish, MD
Ashraf Hasan, MD
Bernard J. Feldman, MD
Bradley Dworsky, MD
Brian Clay, MD
Brian J. Burgess, DPM
Brian R. McCall, MD
Brian Schwartz, MD
Brian Weatherford, MD
Brooke Vanderby, MD
Bruce E. Noxon, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA
Bruce Summerville, MD
Bryan Waxman, MD
Bryant S. Ho, MD
Carey E. Ellis, MD
Carla Gamez, DPM
Cary R. Templin, MD
Charles L. Lettvin, MD
Charles M. Lieder, DO
Chinyoung Park, MD
Christ Pavlatos, MD
Christian Skjong, MD
Christopher C. Mahr, MD
Craig Cummins, MD
Craig Phillips, MD
Craig S. Williams, MD
Craig Westin, MD
David Beigler, MD
David Guelich, MD
David H. Garelick, MD
David Hamming, MD
David Hoffman, MD
David M. Anderson, MD
David Norbeck, MD
David Raab, MD
David Schneider, DO
Djuro Petkovic, MD
Douglas Diekevers, DPM
Douglas Solway, DPM
E. Quinn Regan, MD
Eddie Jones Jr., MD
Edward J. Logue, MD
Elliot A. Nacke, MD
Ellis K. Nam, MD
Eric Chehab, MD
Eric L. Lee, MD
Evan A. Dougherty, MD
Garo Emerzian, DPM
Gary Shapiro, MD
Giridhar Burra, MD
Gregory Brebach, MD
Gregory J. Fahrenbach, MD
Gregory Portland, MD
Harpreet S. Basran, MD
Inbar Kirson, MD, FACOG, Diplomate ABOM
Jalaal Shah, DO
James M. Hill, MD
James R. Bresch, MD
Jason G. Hurbanek, MD
Jason Ghodasra, MD
Jason J. Shrouder-Henry, MD
Jeffrey Ackerman, MD
Jeffrey Goldstein, MD
Jeffrey Staron, MD
Jeffrey Visotsky, MD
Jeremy Oryhon, MD
John H. Lyon, MD
Jonathan Erulkar, MD
Jordan L. Goldstein, MD
Josephine H. Mo, MD
Juan Santiago-Palma, MD
Justin Gent, MD
Justin M. LaReau, MD
Kellie Gates, MD
Kermit Muhammad, MD
Kevin Chen, MD
Kris Alden MD, PhD
Leah R. Urbanosky, MD
Leigh-Anne Tu, MD
Leon Benson, MD
Lori Siegel, MD
Lynn Gettleman Chehab, MD, MPH, Diplomate ABOM
Marc Angerame, MD
Marc Breslow, MD
Marc R. Fajardo, MD
Marie Kirincic, MD
Mark A. Lorenz, MD
Mark Gonzalez, MD
Mark Gross, MD
Mark Hamming, MD
Mark Mikhael, MD
Matthew L. Jimenez, MD
Mehul H. Garala, MD
Michael C. Durkin, MD
Michael Chiu, MD, FAAOS
Michael J. Corcoran, MD
Michael O'Rourke, MD
Nathan G. Wetters, MD
Nikhil K. Chokshi, MD
Paul L. Goodman, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA
Peter Hoepfner, MD
Peter Thadani, MD
Phillip Ludkowski, MD
Priyesh Patel, MD
Rajeev D. Puri, MD
Rhutav Parikh, MD
Richard J. Hayek, MD
Richard Noren, MD
Richard Sherman, MD
Ritesh Shah, MD
Robert J. Daley, MD
Robert J. Thorsness, MD
Roger Chams, MD
Ronak M. Patel, MD
Scott Jacobsen, DPM
Sean A. Sutphen, DO
Serafin DeLeon, MD
Shivani Batra, DO
Stanford Tack, MD
Steven C. Chudik, MD
Steven G. Bardfield, MD
Steven Gross, MD
Steven Jasonowicz, DPM
Steven M. Mardjetko, MD
Steven S. Louis, MD
Steven W. Miller, DPM
Surbhi Panchal, MD
T. Andrew Ehmke, DO
Taizoon Baxamusa, MD
Theodore Fisher, MD
Thomas Gleason, MD
Timothy J. Friedrich, DPM
Todd R. Rimington, MD
Todd Simmons, MD
Tom Antkowiak, MD, MS
Tomas Nemickas, MD
Van Stamos, MD
Wayne M. Goldstein, MD
Wesley E. Choy, MD
William Robb, MD
William Vitello, MD

How to Reduce Winter Arthritis Pain and Inflammation

Doctor examines patient's arm

With the holiday season underway, feelings of joy and happiness may be replaced with pain and stiffness for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients. The pain and inflammation from RA, can dampen your holiday spirit and get in the way of winter festivities. Symptoms such as pain, swelling, stiffness, and fatigue can increase in the winter. But luckily there are steps to alleviate these symptoms.

Ami Kothari, MD
Ami Kothari, MD

Illinois Bone & Joint Institute rheumatologist Dr. Ami Kothari, MD, explains why symptoms of RA feel worse in the winter. Dr. Kothari states that “one theory regarding why cold or damp weather causes joint pain is related to barometric pressure.”

Barometric pressure is the weight of air molecules pressing down on you. Cooler temperatures in winter cause air pressure to drop. The lower air pressure pushes less against the body which causes tissues to expand. “Drops in barometric pressure may cause tendons, muscles and the surrounding tissues to expand, leading to joint pain.”

According to Dr. Kothari, patients may reduce the risk of joint pain in the winter in the following ways:

  1. Dress in layers. The warmer you are, the better. Warmth helps to soothe stiff joints.
  2. Stay active! Even through the winter, regular exercise is important to increasing muscle and bone strength. Exercise helps to decrease stiffness and fatigue.
  3. Stretch. Stretching before and after activities helps to loosen the joints and reduces the risk of injury.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight. Not only should you exercise, but eating well to maintain a healthy weight will also help to alleviate inflammation. (For more information on reducing inflammation by maintaining a well balanced diet, please read our article on 5 Foods That Help Fight Inflammation & Arthritis Pain).
  5. Sleep. Get a good night’s rest. Lack of sleep can increase inflammation.

Keep in mind that the drop in air pressure may affect other types of arthritis. “Osteoarthritis may flare as well during the winter months,” Dr. Kothari says. “Following the steps above may help to alleviate the symptoms of RA during the winter.”

Dr. Kothari is board-certified in rheumatology and internal medicine. Her practice locations include the physician offices in Des Plaines and Morton Grove. To learn more about Dr. Kothari, please visit her profile.

*The blog is for general information and educational purposes only regarding musculoskeletal conditions. The information provided does not constitute the practice of medicine or other healthcare professional services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. Readers with musculoskeletal conditions should seek the advice of their healthcare professionals without delay for any condition they have. The use of the information is at the reader’s own risk. The content is not intended to replace diagnosis, treatment or medical advice from your treating healthcare professional.

close