In physical therapy, we hear on a regular basis that a patient’s pain is worse due to the weather. Maybe it is raining or maybe the temperature has dropped over night, but many of our patients state that they believe their increase in pain is a result of a change in the weather.
While there is evidence that weather can affect painful conditions like arthritis, it is important to note that it is not believed that weather actually makes arthritis or any other disease worse. Instead, the idea is that weather can affect your symptoms.
The most common reasoning of this increase in symptoms surrounds a perception involving barometric pressure. Barometric pressure, which is the pressure exerted by the air around us, often drops preceding a storm. Therefore, the theory is that the decrease in air pressure can cause the tissues around the joints to swell, causing arthritic pain. Advocates of this theory have done research using a balloon in a barometric chamber as a simulator – if the pressure outside drops the balloon expands. Researchers believe that if the same affect occurred in the area around the arthritic joint, the expansion or swelling would irritate the nerves, causing pain.
Other possibilities include: pain thresholds drop in colder weather; cold, rainy days affect mood; and during colder weather people are less likely to be outside and get the exercise that normally helps keep arthritis pain managed.
Because there is no definitive answer to the question of arthritic pain being affected by weather, experts recommend that you should be cautious with making the decision to move to warmer, dryer climate. While it may provide relief in the beginning, your body will likely acclimate to that environments weather pattern and you will experience the same symptoms again.
We treat patients with arthritis and joint pain in the Clermont 34711 area!