I get asked a lot, and we often hear a friend or uncles and aunties complain about their arthritis and joint pains by blaming on the weather. “When it’s raining or damp the pain is worse”. “Only get the pain when the weather changes”. Most times people don’t take them seriously or dismiss them as psychological. Could there be some validity to their claims?
Interviews have been conducted and found that chronic pain sufferers reported change in pain before the change of weather. So it’s actually more typical for pain to start before the raindrops fall. Given the number of pain sufferers reporting the same pattern, it is worthwhile to look into why that is.
Scientists cannot fully agree on why weather causes pain, or which bodily mechanism is the source of discomfort. However, the leading theory is air pressure. Research has shown that the pressure from the atmosphere is pressing on the body at all times and can have the most effect on the tissues. Air pressure on the body usually drops before bad weather and the lower pressure on the body means the tissues are allowed to expand. Expanding tissues can increase the stress on the joints and cause pain, especially in people who’s been living with pain a long time; their sensitivity to pain may have increased.
An example of similar mechanism is swollen ankles in airplanes. Air pressure is lower in high altitudes and some people’s ankle will swell but not when they sit the same amount of hours at sea level.
Keep in mind that reason for the link is still theoretical at this time but beware that the link between weather change and joint pain should not be dismissed.
There is an increase in frequency of rainfall lately. Is your chronic pain bothering you more? Time to have it checked out.