DOES WEATHER AFFECT YOUR JOINTS?

Does A Change in Weather Increase Your Joint Pain?

Maybe you’ve chalked it up to being an old wives’ tale or possibly you are convinced that weather changes do in fact affect your pain, because you yourself experience an increase in joint pain as the weather changes. Although much debate revolves around this subject, there is strong evidence and working hypotheses why in fact the weather changes may lead to an increase in pain. You may have noticed that your joint pain doesn’t seem to be affected by rainy weather changing to sunny weather, rather it’s the opposite.  When inclement weather moves in, patients often report feeling a greater amount of joint pain and distress. It’s not actually the rainy weather itself that causes the increased perception of pain, rather it’s the change in barometric pressure.  In fact patients will normally experience increased symptoms well before the first raindrop falls. Scientists who have evaluated this phenomenon have concluded that, as barometric pressure falls there is less atmospheric pressure acting on the body tissues and joints.  Atmospheric pressure has the tendency of causing even, external compression of your body tissues.  As the barometer falls, with less pressure being exerted on the body tissues, your joints may detect this change in external pressure. Although it is a relatively tiny change in pressure, it’s apparently enough to make a temporary but noticeable difference to the most sensitive joints in your body. On the flip side, when the weather clears up and the barometer starts to rise you won’t perceive the same increase in joint pain as you do when it falls.  This is because as increasing atmospheric pressure causes more external compression of the body tissues, it tends to support the most sensitive areas and joints.

Misaligned bones and joints will potentially become more sensitive to a falling barometer.

If you have a misaligned joint, that joint will have more stress and you may eventually experience pain or symptoms at or around that joint or body region.  When pain becomes chronic your affected joints are the ones that may potentially perceive an increase in symptoms as bad weather moves in. Interestingly we have found that patients will often report a reduction in their ability to forecast an impending storm after their misaligned joints have been realigned through the use of gentle chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic care will improve joint alignment, which has the effect of reducing joint and tissue stress.  This reduction in tissue stress may cause the patient to become less sensitive to barometric pressure changes. Although not every patient with barometric sensitivity will notice a reduction in their pain as rainy weather approaches, many patients do. Having a routine, preventative maintenance adjustment for wellness purposes will help you maintain better joint and body health.

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