The Best Place to Live with Arthritis

palmiers image by Nathalie P from

If you love winter, moving to a hot desert climate may make your arthritis feel better, but the trade-off on your mood may take its toll. If you are close to your family, the emotional hardship of being separated might offset any benefit you gain from feeling better physically. The best place to live with arthritis is the one that most successfully balances what you consider the benefits of your current residence with certain features a new locale may offer.


The jury is still out on whether moving to a warmer climate is the best thing for arthritis sufferers. While warmer weather won't cure arthritis, there is some evidence that it makes it easier to bear. Explanations for this include changes in barometric pressure that cause tissue swelling, cold temperatures' effect on pain tolerance, and even the simple fact that bad weather often confines a person to her home, limiting her ability to exercise and socialise.

Access to Treatment

If you require regular doctor visits to manage your arthritis, you'll want to live someplace close to a doctor's office. If you're not feeling well, a 120-mile round trip to the doctor won't be any fun, so factor in access to treatment when you decide where to live. Also, unless your health plan provides for mailing of prescriptions, you'll want to make sure you have access to a pharmacy. If you are interested in obtaining new, experimental treatments, check to see if there is a large research university or teaching hospital in the area you're considering. You may be eligible to participate in clinical trials for new arthritis drugs.

Access to Other Daily Needs

Make sure you can easily obtain groceries. If you enjoy going out to dinner, be sure there is a restaurant nearby. If you choose to live in a more rural area and spend a lot of time online, check before you move to make sure that high-speed Internet is available. In some parts of the country, the best you can do is dial-up.


Exercise is an important part of managing arthritis and any place a person with arthritis chooses to move should afford the opportunity to exercise. If you prefer to exercise outdoors, check to see if the area you're considering has a park, walking trails or adequate bike paths. Check local crime statistics to make sure that the area is safe for outdoor exercise. For indoor exercisers, or outdoor exercisers living in a place where climate might be a challenge, check to see that there's a health club or even a shopping mall nearby where you can walk indoors. Swimming and yoga are both recommended forms of exercise for people with arthritis. If these interest you, determine if you will have access to a pool or yoga instruction.

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