Can the weather aggravate my pain?

Oh, my aching……

Many of us know a relative or a friend that complains of body aches coinciding with weather changes. It’s maybe Grandma and her knee pain or Uncle George that can predict the weather when his arthritis acts up.

Arthritis and the weatherLeading theories suggests that falling barometric pressure frequently precedes a storm and that alters the pressure inside joints. As the outside pressure drops, the fluid and gases in our joints expand, pressing against surrounding nerves and other tissues.

In people with chronic inflammation from arthritis or past injuries, even slight irritations due to the weather can aggravate sensory nerve cells, known as nociceptors, that relay pain signals to the brain.

“Fibromyalgia patients seem to be the most sensitive,” says Susan Goodman, a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery. She also notes that while some people seem to be extremely sensitive to weather.

Rising humidity may cause joints to swell and stiffen. In fact, tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones and other tissues all have varying densities, so they may expand or contract in different ways in changing conditions.

If the weather aggravates aches and pains, is there a way to prevent those episodes? The article I derived this blog from addresses the immediate pain and how to “lessen the impact” (by using drugs). But the underlying condition is still there, isn’t it? Stiff, knotted muscles and inflamed joints reduce your flexibility, contribute to a lack of proper function, irritating nerves and causing pain.

Headaches, migraines, fibromyalgia and arthritis are the main conditions aggravated by the weather – all conditions we can treat. See our Symptom Checker for more details on these conditions and how we treat the root cause.

by Dr. Peter Ray


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