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Can a cold workplace trigger RA?

Post: #1
01-25-2013, 01:48 PM
member50944 Offline
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Can a cold workplace trigger RA?

​I have been flare free for almost a year, but with the recent very cold
weather my office at work is far too cold and I have been flaring for
the past week. I am wearing boots and a jacket at work but my hands are
so stiff I can barely type. It is painful and slow. That's why I wanted
to know if anyone knew whether a flare can be caused by the cold. My
boss said a heater is a fire hazard and I can't work from home so I
would like some evidence to say that his treatment of me is making my
condition worse.



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Post: #2
01-25-2013, 02:14 PM
member82127 Offline
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RE: Can a cold workplace trigger RA?

​I have not seen any evidence for that, but the stress of being
uncomfortable could cause a flare. More likely, the cold room is just
making those joints more stiff. That said, I am not sure that fighting
with your management is the best way to approach it if you are planning
on being there for a while. The combative environment would not be good
for your everyday worklife or stress levels. When I have a flare and my
joints are sore, I will often soak the hands or feet in hot water. You
could fill a small bucket with hot water from the bathroom and soak your
hands in that. It would probably be more subtle, but still get the
point across.



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Post: #3
01-26-2013, 04:38 AM
member91367 Offline
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RE: Can a cold workplace trigger RA?

Oh it definitely can. If you look around online, you'll see all sorts of sources that say colder weather can aggravate symptoms. The pain can be horrible.

Why can't they just turn the heat up a bit more?



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Post: #4
01-27-2013, 02:16 PM
member50944 Offline
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RE: Can a cold workplace trigger RA?

I am already on unpleasant terms with my manager and I work for the
government so they can't easily fire me. I am just trying to find a way
to be able to file a grievance so they fix the heating or the windows or
whatever so the room is not so cold. It is 20 C now and too cold for
me. It is not tolerable!



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Post: #5
01-28-2013, 01:13 PM
member61184 Offline
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RE: Can a cold workplace trigger RA?

I know you are trying to make the employer do something about this, but in the event that you have hand stiffness anyway, there are RA gloves that you can get which will warm up the hands to help relieve the stiffness. They are helpful.



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Post: #6
01-29-2013, 04:41 AM
member91367 Offline
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RE: Can a cold workplace trigger RA?

The gloves might be your best bet, although if you tend to type a lot, it could be a hindrance.

Is there a way you could be moved to a different desk so you're not near windows that are broken?



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Post: #7
03-09-2013, 04:55 AM
member71460 Offline
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RE: Can a cold workplace trigger RA?

What about an electric blanket? Surely your boss understands how the cold effects your ability to work.



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Post: #8
03-25-2013, 01:52 PM
member91367 Offline
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RE: Can a cold workplace trigger RA?

An electric blanket might get approved. They are often considered a fire hazard, though, too, so maybe not.

What about those little hand-warmer things, too? Is there a microwave in your office that you could heat up a couple heating bags, too?



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Post: #9
03-30-2013, 08:36 AM
member45048 Offline
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RE: Can a cold workplace trigger RA?

Your employer is obliged by law to provide a comfortable working environment for you, whether you have health issues or not. You need to talk to your doctor and ask him how best to proceed with this. If your immediate superior is not willing to help, take it further up the chain of command. This is absolutely intolerable in the 21st century, and you shouldn't have to endure such conditions.



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