Chronic pain, fatigue, and depression are symptoms that lead to a daily battle for the ten million people in the U.S. suffering from fibromyalgia. If you’re trying to cope with this condition, you know it can affect every part of your life. Even simple daily tasks feel overwhelming. Unfortunately, certain types of weather can have a significant impact on how you feel. If you’re struggling with symptoms of fibromyalgia, you may want to consider a change of climate. Read on for a list of the best places to live with fibromyalgia.
Not sure if you’re ready to move? You’ll also find recommendations for vacation spots!
What are the best types of places to live with fibromyalgia?
The underlying cause of fibromyalgia is still unclear, which is why doctors continue to research this condition.
However, many people diagnosed with fibromyalgia say that weather has an effect on how they feel. Sudden drops in barometric pressure, as well as extreme temperatures may make pain much worse. Though it may not help all fibromyalgia sufferers, finding a better climate may help ease some symptoms of this condition.
Is warm weather better for fibromyalgia?
In short, the answer is generally yes. Most fibromyalgia sufferers report feeling much better during periods of temperate warm weather. Spring seems to be the best time of year due to the relatively mild conditions in most places.
As you begin to browse cities with warm weather, it’s important to remember a few things.
In many areas across the United States, particularly the South, warm weather also comes along with humidity. This only gets worse as it becomes hotter during the summer months. Thunderstorms and rain are another common occurrence in these places, which isn’t ideal for most fibromyalgia sufferers. While every case is different, it is common for humidity to be a trigger when it comes to an uptick in symptoms.
For states with warm weather and low humidity, such as desert climates, the battle may be during months of extreme heat. Of course, this can present issues when you’re outside, but it can also be a struggle indoors. This is because many offices, restaurants, and shops will have the A/C on at full power to combat the heat.
What type of weather is best?
Only you can answer this question as each person experiences fibromyalgia in their own way.
Consider starting a daily journal. Record the temperature and conditions of the day, along with a few notes about your symptoms. This will help you pinpoint what type of weather is best for you. Does a thunderstorm make you ache? Are temperatures over 90 degrees too much to handle? Take everything into consideration.
In general, a temperate climate is most beneficial for anyone with fibromyalgia. This would include areas with low humidity and infrequent rain. While no city is going to be perfect 365 days out of the year, it is possible to find areas that experience very few days of extreme weather conditions.
What other factors should I consider?
Moving is a big decision, so your choice shouldn’t be based solely on weather. There are several other factors to consider as you think about places you’d like to live.
First, what is the healthcare system like in the state you’re considering? You should have access to affordable care and reputable hospitals. This is important for anyone, but it’s especially significant when you’re coping with a condition like fibromyalgia. For example, states like Arizona and Utah have good healthcare systems with access to pain specialists (like the ones you’ll find at Arizona Pain, of course!).
Next, cost of living should be a factor. For example, California may be ideal for weather, but an average home costs well over half a million dollars in most places. Browse Zillow or team up with a realtor to find out more about the housing market before you pick up and move to a new city.
Lastly, think about the quality of life in each place you’re considering. You should be happy wherever you land! If you love to play tennis or mountain bike, it’ll be important to live somewhere that allows for these outdoor activities on a year-round basis. Perhaps you are nearing retirement and would rather relax on a beach? You’ll want to choose a place with easy coastal access.
It’s important to look beyond fibromyalgia weather and think about the big picture before you start packing.
The best places to live with fibromyalgia
With that, let’s jump right in. Here is our list of the best places to live with fibromyalgia. While these will differ for everyone, we think these are a good place to start.
1. Phoenix, Arizona
Sunny Arizona has a lot to offer fibromyalgia sufferers, especially the capital city of Phoenix. With an average year-round temperature of 75 degrees and just 36 days of rainfall, this is a great place to find warmth with little humidity.
Phoenix also boasts low cost of living and some of the best healthcare access in the country. Facilities like Mayo Clinic and Arizona Pain provide top notch care for people struggling with symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Lastly, it’s a great place to enjoy the great outdoors. With access to endless hiking trails, park systems, and community aquatic centers, there is always something to do if you enjoy an active lifestyle.
2. Tucson, Arizona
If you’re interested in Arizona, but looking for a smaller city, you’ll find Tucson just two hours down the road. You’ll find the same temperate climate and access to outdoor activities, plus a rich cultural scene that is unique to Tucson.
Even better? While it’s a slower pace in comparison to Phoenix, you’re only a short drive away if there is something you can’t find in Tucson. Temperatures also tend to be a little less extreme.
3. Las Vegas, Nevada
While you may not think of Sin City as a great place to live, you’d be surprised by how much the city has to offer when you leave the Strip. There are surrounding suburbs that are affordable, safe, and most importantly, warm!
While you will have to deal with extreme temperatures during the summer months, you can beat the heat in the pool or make an escape. Las Vegas is also home to a major international airport with thousands of inbound and outbound flights every day.
4. San Diego, California
The Golden State touts year-round ideal weather and San Diego is no exception. With an average of just three days over 90 degrees, this is a perfect spot for anyone who wants to avoid extreme heat.
While it isn’t considered one of the most budget-friendly places to live, there is certainly no shortage of things to do. From beaches to restaurants, you’ll never be bored. Enjoy the sunshine and views!
5. Palm Springs, California
Not a fan of the ocean breeze? Head inland to Palm Springs. This city in the Sonoran Desert of southern California is perfect for anyone in need of sunshine and relaxed living.
It is known for an extensive list of golf courses, spas, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor sports and leisure.
6. Santa Fe, New Mexico
Residents of Santa Fe love the city’s desert climate. You won’t have to worry about humidity and fibromyalgia. Plus, air quality is above the national average.
History buffs enjoy the Pueblo-style architecture and landmarks. Art and culture can be found everywhere in this capital city, which makes it ideal for creative types.
7. Albuquerque, New Mexico
If New Mexico interests you, but you’re looking for more of a “big city” feel, Albuquerque may be your answer.
While it offers a similar moderate climate as Santa Fe, you’ll have access to a wonderful culinary scene and plenty of museums. The city is also best known for hot air ballon rides, especially the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
8. St. George, Utah
If you continue exploring the Southwestern region, you’ll find St. George, Utah. While summer temperatures will reach 100 degrees, winter is relatively mild and dry. Top things to do include fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. Cost of living is affordable and the scenery is gorgeous.
Bonus tip: St. George is just 90 minutes from the bright lights of fabulous Las Vegas. That means you’re only a short drive away from some of the best restaurants and entertainment in the country.
9. El Paso, Texas
In west Texas, right on the border of both Mexico and New Mexico, you’ll find El Paso. The dry climate is sunny and warm most days, but it’s also home to several state-of-the-art medical centers. This makes it a good option for anyone dealing with a chronic pain condition.
With a median home listing price of $130,600, it’s also an affordable city that will stretch your dollar.
10. Daytona Beach, Florida
We know what you’re thinking, Florida is pretty humid, especially during the summer months. But if humidity isn’t a trigger for your fibromyalgia symptoms, Daytona Beach may be a great option.
The average temperature is 70 degrees, which makes it a temperate climate for frequent trips to the beach! Plus, you’ll have access to several different medical centers. Another plus? If you can’t find something you need in Daytona Beach, Orlando is just an hour away.
11. Athens, Georgia
Athens moves us away from some of the very warm areas on this list. For some fibromyalgia sufferers, warmth isn’t as important as consistent mild temperatures. Athens averages temperatures in the 60s, which makes it cooler, yet constant.
Home of the University of Georgia, Athens has a small southern town feel with a vibrant community. Bonus tip: Georgia is one of the most tax-friendly states for retirees living on a fixed income.
12. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is another city that runs on the cooler end of the spectrum. With an average temperature of 56 degrees and about ten inches of snow per year, it has more winter weather than the other spots listed here.
That said, the healthcare industry is a big part of the Asheville economy, and there is plenty of access to outdoor activities and things to do.
The best places to vacation with fibromyalgia
Let’s face it, you don’t want to spend your entire life sitting at home. Here are some of the best vacation spots for people living with fibromyalgia. They’re easy to get to and have something for everyone.
13. Oahu, Hawaii
A trip to paradise always sounds nice, right? Put an umbrella in your drink and experience Hawaii. From beaches to waterfalls, this state has all the makings for a great vacation.
The island of Oahu is a favorite among tourists. It is home to the state capital, Honolulu, as well as Pearl Harbor. Indulge in island life and embrace history, all in one trip.
14. Mexico City, Mexico
The capital city of Mexico is known for mild winters and pleasantly warm summers. With an average annual temperature of 64 degrees, this is a temperate spot to enjoy a true cultural experience.
Mexico City boasts multiple museums, cathedrals, and temples. Foodies will also enjoy a long list of highly-rated restaurants.
15. San Juan, Puerto Rico
You won’t find any freezing temperatures in San Juan. This Caribbean destination is clear or partly cloudy for about 75% of the year.
Enjoy beaches, casinos, and great restaurants in this U.S. territory. Just remember, hurricane season peaks in August, September, and October.
Living with fibromyalgia
They say home is where the heart is, but it’s not that simple when you’re living with fibromyalgia. If you’re dealing with erratic weather or don’t have access to quality healthcare, it may be time to consider a move.
As previously mentioned, Phoenix can be an ideal place to live for some fibro patients. Sunny days and quality medical care are just the beginning. If you find yourself headed this way, make an appointment with Arizona Pain. We’d love to help you manage your symptoms and improve your life. If Arizona isn’t in the cards, we invite you learn more about living with fibromyalgia on our pain management blog.
At Arizona Pain, our award-winning team uses a comprehensive approach to manage your pain. Call us today to find out more about how we can help.