Is The Pain During Rain All In Your Brain
Can you feel the rain coming in your joints? Its an idea that goes back at least to Hippocrates, nearly 2500 years ago: the weather may affect some chronic health conditions. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may already have direct experience with arthritis weather, and some people with other chronic pain conditions report that their pain gets worse when it rains.
Theres a plausible hypothesis for this perceived correlation. Rain typically comes with a drop in barometric pressure: the low pressure system you may have heard your local weather person forecast. Lower pressure outside your body may cause tissues inside your body to swell and irritate sensitive nerves. However, this explanation has not been proven, and some scientists point out that the changes in air pressure are about the same as riding in an elevator to the top of a tall building.
Other scientists speculate that high humidity may be to blame. Or a drop in temperature. Or the psychology of gray, dreary days. Whatever the underlying mechanism may be, the lived experience for many patients is clear: rain days are pain days.
Science has long attempted to study this anecdotal wisdom, but the results have been mixed. Some studies have found no correlation between pain and weather. Others have found evidence to support a connection between pain and low barometric pressure or high humidity. Both high and low temperatures have also had a correlation to pain in some studies.
Why Does Rain Bring Joint Pain
One of the most frequently upheld theories is related to the influence of barometric pressure on the body. When it rains, barometric pressure falls. Your body senses this decrease in pressure, which can cause soft tissue like muscles and tendons to expand and contract. This can lead to increased pressure on the joints, causing nerve irritation and subsequent joint pain. If the cartilage that protects the bone has degenerated or become worn down, like is common with arthritis, the bones may be more exposed and make the nerves more sensitive to changes in pressure. If the temperature is colder, this can further exacerbate symptoms, as lower temperatures can make the fluid within the joints thicker and contribute to a feeling of stiffness. Another consideration outside of the physiological realm is that on a rainy day, you are more likely to stay indoors. Although this keeps you dry, it can also keep you from moving as much as you normally would, and that inactivity can result in stiff and achy joints.
Is There A Connection Between Joint Pain And The Weather
Its going to rain today! I can tell because the pain in my joints tells me.
Does your body hurt when the weather changes? Can you feel that it is going to rain even before you hear the weather report? If so, you are not alone. Is there a scientific reason for this or is it just a myth that we all believe?
I have Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, so joint pain is not out of the norm, but I know that when it is rainy or cold, my joints will ache more than usual. I often get a debilitating headache when there are severe thunderstorms in the forecast. If you ask me, there is a connection between the pain and the weather, but research seems to be inconclusive.
A 2017 study suggests that there is no correlation between rainy days and joint or back pain. So why do my joints seem to hurt more when the weather is bad? A Harvard Health blog reports a minor correlation between the weather and pain, but it theorizes that barometric pressure or changes in the weather or humidity may be the causes.
According to Psychology Today, a drop in barometric pressure can impact our bodies in the following ways:
- Cold temperatures can lessen blood flow to the muscles, causing some stiffness.
- Being less active on bad weather days causes less blood flow to the muscles.
- Less blood flow means toxins from muscles are not being flushed as well.
- Seasonal depression can impact chronic pain.
So, what can we do about the pain? Here are some things that may help:
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Is The Summer Heat Affecting Your Joints
Remember when you were young and could move your joints with ease? Now that youre older, you may be noticing that your joints dont work as well in summer heat.
Knowing how to handle joint discomfort is important, especially in warmer weather. Learn why the summer heat may affect your joints and what you can do to get relief.
Painful Joints And Body Pain In Cold Wet Weather
Its common but not normal.
Why does weather affect our joints and bodies?
We have baroreceptors, like barometers, in our hearts, in our joints and throughout our bodies. These baroreceptors communicate to the body whats happening in our environment and the brain creates a response. Damaged receptors dont work well. If these receptors are in your knees or hips for example, the bodys response may be skewed, or may be appropriate but the joint is still dysfunctional. Either way, pain often increases.
Lets say that you have an injured knee thats already misaligned and inflamed. When the weather is cold and damp the lubricating synovial fluid of the joint reduces in quantity. With less fluid in the joint, the misalignment and inflammation become more pronounced and the weather tips the pain over the edge. If your knee were not misaligned and inflamed already, this weather change wouldnt bother your knee.
Pain in the rain? Do your joints hurt when its wet and cold outside? Your body ache in the rain and cold? This is a sign of a problem. Call Dr. Lou at 774-6251 and schedule relief today!
If your hip joints are filled with inflammatory tenodonitis and the weather is damp and cold, these changes in environmental barometric pressure lead to an increase in inflammation in the ligaments and tendons, leading to more pain. It pushes your hips over the top. If your hip were in perfect shape, this would not otherwise happen.
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Why Does My Arthritis Flare Up When It Rains
With the recent downpours the area has been experiencing, you may have noticed that your joints seem to ache more when rain is in the forecast. It is not uncommon for people to complain of increased joint pain when there is rain or the weather is more cold than usual. Why is that? Although scientists have yet to come up with a definitive answer, there are a number of different theories as to why this occurs, as well as suggestions for how to prevent rainy day aches and pains.
When To See Your Provider
If you have unbearable joint pain, talk with your health care provider. They may want to do some tests. If your joints are painful, swollen, warm to the touch or making your daily activities difficult to do, make an appointment. Waiting to see a health care professional may cause more damage to your joints.
Learn more about the sports medicine services offered at Bon Secours.
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Are You Weather Sensitive
Some people are more sensitive to weather than others. So you may feel more stiff and achy in the cold more than your neighbor. That doesnt either of you is wrong, it just means that we dont perceive things the same.
A 2014 study of people with osteoarthritis published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders asked participants if and how weather influenced their pain. Of the 712 people who answered the survey, 469 said they were weather sensitive. It turns out that weather-sensitive people with OA experience more joint pain overall than their non-weather-sensitive counterparts.
A 2011 article published in European Journal of Pain found similar results in people with rheumatoid arthritis . The researchers looked at nine previously published studies of people with RA and concluded pain in some individuals is more affected by the weather than in others, and that patients react in different ways to the weather.
Why We Feel Joint Pain When It Rains
Results of the above mentioned study suggest that barometric pressure might be the main culprit for feeling pain in knees, hips and other joints when it rains. This is, also, the most frequently used reason to explain how weather change can affect your joints.
Barometric pressure is defined as the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds you. When barometric pressure is higher it keeps tissues in your body from expanding. Usually, this barometric pressure lowers before bad weather, such as rain.
Then, lower air pressure pushes against your body. In turn, tissues expand and form a greater pressure on your joints. This pressure is microscopic and we dont, actually, notice it. The only sign of that pressure is the pain sensation you feel.
According to Frances Wilder, PhD, an epidemiologist and research director at the Arthritis Research Institute of America, the sensitivity of the nerves and their endings is highly tuned to barometric pressure thus responding to even minor changes.
NOTE: its important to mention that neither the study, nor the scientists who are open to idea of link between joint pain and rain, suggest that weather changes cause the pain. Weather changes, including rain, only worsen the symptoms that particular day.
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What To Do If Your Knees Hurt When It Rains
Live by the mantra, motion is lotion, says Grahlman. That means you should move the joint as much as possible. If you stop moving because of pain, its going to hurt even more when you do move. The body doesnt just respond to stimulus, it responds to a lack of stimulus as well.
Beyond just doing low-impact exercises like yoga, swimming, or easy cycling, find someone to help you develop an appropriate strength training program as well. That can help you maintain strength and a good range of motion that will keep pain down over the long run, Grahlman explains.
A true strength training program one that includes ample fundamental movement skills and drills, and takes athletes bodies to end ranges of motion under appropriate loads, says Bryant. Consistency in such a program helps the athlete maintain a body with more than enough joint mobility and stability to handle Mother Natures ups and downs.
To cut down on the episodic pain, Dr. Fredericson says, Consider an anti-inflammatory diet to decrease systemic inflammation, which is associated with increased inflammatory markers in the joints. A taste-friendly anti-inflammatory diet: the Mediterranean diet.
When the weathers bad and your joints are hurting, also try to stay warm with additional layers of clothing, take frequent warm showers, baths, or saunas, and consider pain medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, curcumin, or CBD, Dr. Fredericson says.
Why Weather Only Affects Some People
Why does the weather only affect some people with chronic pain? One reason might be the level of pain you experience. This could happen at both ends of the spectrum. If your pain is fairly light, or very severe, small changes might not be noticeable. Still, the more logical reason for the difference may have to do with nerve endings.
When nerves are compressed, they become more sensitive. So, if a nerve ending is located in an area that changes with pressure, then you might notice the changes in weather more. On the other hand, someone with nerve endings in a more stable body part might not feel the changes as dramatically.
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People With Arthritis Often Notice A Connection Between Humidity Or Temperature And Joint Pain Symptoms Heres What You Need To Know
Elisabetta Mercuri knows when its going to rain. My joints get achy, especially in my hands, she says. And when its cold and wet, the symptoms are even worse. It almost feels like theres ice in my fingers because they are so stiff, says Elisabetta, who has lived with psoriatic arthritis for close to four decades. And as Ive gotten older, my joints feel the weather changes even more.
Elisabetta is far from alone: Patients often say they can tell when its going to rain based on how their joints feel, says Anne R. Bass, MD, rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Humidity seems to be the biggest culprit, but we actually dont know why.
Theres the rub: People with arthritis often notice a connection between humidity or temperature and joint pain symptoms, and may even report it to their doctors. Its a complaint Brett Smith, DO, a rheumatologist with East Tennessee Medical Group, hears often.
Patients note that certain weather changes tend to produce more stiffness, more aching and more pain, he says. They feel their body is a weather machine that can predict when its going to rain or when a cold front is coming.
More recently, our parent organization, the Global Healthy Living Foundation, presented findings from an observational study at the American College of Rheumatologys annual meeting in 2018. Results showed a correlation between various weather patterns and peoples self-reported symptoms, but the link was not strong.
How Cold Weather Affects Your Knees
Categories: General Orthopedics
On Long Island, were still battling through the bitter cold of winter. As most of us know, this is a season that can burden us with significant orthopedic challenges. As a Long Island orthopedist, we treat several injuries caused during winter. Between ice, snow, shoveling and car accidents, winter is a time for everyone to exercise caution to avoid injury.
Many of our patients with knee injuries realize that during winter, their knee pain seems to change with the weather. Orthopedic injuries shifting with the season is not as unique as you may believe. Incidentally, knee injuries are particularly susceptible to changes as the weather stays cold.
Below, weve gathered information regarding the effects of cold weather on knee injuries. Youll find out what causes these changes, the knee injuries at risk and strategies for pain relief. Keep reading for more information!
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Keep An Eye On Weather Patterns
Make it a daily habit to check the forecast in your area. If you notice bad weather in the next few days, be prepared. For instance, the day before a storm you might not want to plan a lot of physical activity. Also, if your doctor agrees, it might be worth adjusting any medication you use for pain. This could take some experimenting again, with a doctors guidance.
Lets say you know a storm is coming. You might get the best results by taking more medication 24 to 48 hours before the change in weather. That way, your body is prepared before the barometric pressure begins to fall. This kind of preventative measure may take the edge off the pain before it gets much worse.
Which Weather Conditions Are Worst
If you combine results of the various studies, the general consensus is that cold, wet weather is the worst for inciting arthritis pain. Terence Starz, MD, rheumatologist at University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Pittsburgh, may have summed it up best with this quip he shared from one of his patients, The frost is on the pumpkin and the pain is back in my joints.
Changes in barometric pressure a measure that refers to the weight of the air seem to be more important for pain levels than the actual barometric pressure. Meaning that either a cold front or warm front coming in can ramp up the ache in your fingers. But once the weather has settled in, your pain will even out.
A 2015 study of 810 people with OA published in Journal of Rheumatology found significant links between humidity, temperature and joint pain. The effect of humidity on pain was stronger when the weather was colder. In essence, they found that wet, winter days are no fun.
A 2015 study of 133 RA patients published in Rheumatology International found that their disease activity was lower when their days were sunny and dry.
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Does Heat And Humidity Make Joint Pain Worse
As we head into the Arizona monsoon season, you may be finding you have more trouble with joint pain.
Many people with arthritis find they have more stiffness and pain as the humidity rises and barometric pressure dropsas can happen before a monsoon storm. This may be because changes in temperature and humidity change the level of fluid in our joints.
In addition, the extreme Arizona heat alone can aggravate pain, simply by placing more stress on the body and making us more irritable and sensitive to discomfort.
Becoming dehydrated, which can happen quickly in the heat, can make things even worse because our joints need fluid to move smoothly.
What can you do to stay as comfortable as possible until things cool off? Try these tips.
If youre struggling with joint pain, the medical professionals at OrthoArizona can work with you to get back to enjoying the activities you love.
My Knee Hurts When It Rains
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