We all know someone who insists that when a storm is on the way their arthritis pain increases, or their shoulder pain is worse when winter approaches. Is this true or is it just another old wives’ tale? Can weather changes actually make pain worse?
You may not believe it but there might be a strong connection between weather changes and aggravated pain symptoms.
Some scientists have been conducting a study of people residing in four different US cities who suffer with chronic pain. Almost 70% of them said that even before the weather changed, they felt changes in their pain levels.
The science behind the connection between weather and pain goes beyond rain or cold weather.
How Pain Is Affected by Barometric Pressure
Although pain symptoms are associated with rainy or damp weather, it is actually barometric pressure, which is the weight of the atmosphere around us, that is the main culprit.
The barometric pressure starts dropping when severe weather is approaching. This means there is less air pressure pressing against the body, which allows tissues to expand placing more pressure on the joints and we feel an increase in pain symptoms.
Those suffering from chronic pain during spring rainy months, might feel an uncomfortable pressure in their joints, which could be caused by the change in barometric pressure. However, not everyone feels these symptoms.
In the same way, a change in symptoms is experienced by chronic pain patients when in a humid environment. Once again, this is due to low barometric pressure combined with high humidity, both of which cause high blood pressure, causing ligaments, muscles and body tendons to expand.
In 2007 a study was undertaken on the impact of weather changes on osteoarthritis of the knee sufferers, and they found that patients pain increased with every 10 degree drop in temperature.
Spinal Conditions Aggravated by Weather
Most spinal conditions can be aggravated by changes in barometric pressure and the weather, which cause expanded tissue or muscles, inflammation, and dehydrated joints.
Spinal conditions such as:
- Joint pain
- Nerve pain
- Muscle pain
- Spinal stenosis
What Can I Do to Ease Changes in Pain Caused by Weather Changes?
We can’t avoid weather or barometric pressure changes around us, but we can try promoting circulation with heating therapies to help ease the symptoms.
Try these tips and ideas to fight pain.
- Keep active to increase circulation
- Try water therapy by soaking in a hot bath
- Cover the painful area with a heating pad
- Use a warm towel or over-the-counter heat wraps
- Include heat therapy into your wellness routine
Can chiropractic help?
Even though your chiropractor can’t change the weather for you, chiropractic care can reduce existing inflammation and encourage healthy tissue by making sure your spine is aligned and all the connective systems are working in harmony.
Let Innovative Chiropractic Help You Fight Weather Related Pain
Contact us today if you or someone you know is experiencing aggravated, weather related pain symptoms. We at Innovative Chiropractic in Mill Creek are committed to helping you find the relief you are looking for and helping you take control of your wellness.