How Does Weather Affect Arthritis Pain?

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How Does Weather Affect Arthritis Pain?

March 12, 2020


Next time someone tells you that a feeling in their joints is telling them a storm is brewing, you may want to take the prediction seriously. As it turns out, the notion that individuals living with osteoarthritis have a special way to predict the weather might be a bit more than an old wives’ tale.

As Oklahoma City’s premier source for knowledge on pain management techniques, we’ve heard of a number of cases regarding patients who claim their knees can predict the weather with greater accuracy than the local news station. Although there is not currently enough scientific evidence to support these claims, they are difficult to discredit altogether due to the overwhelming amount of patient accounts pointing to the contrary.

Those with compromised joints or a weakened musculoskeletal system might be more vulnerable to subtle changes in the environment that might go unnoticed by others. To fully explore this concept, we will have to analyze how factors like rain, humidity, air pressure, and heat affect the body.

Humidity & Air Pressure

A drastic increase in humidity commonly causes a shift in atmospheric pressure, which tends to cause discomfort for those who experience regular muscle pain or joint pain. Even individuals with no existing conditions can experience pain due to humidity.

This occurs when your baroreceptors (tiny sensory nerves in the joints) respond to shifts in air pressure, which can drop sharply in rainy weather or high humidity. The sudden pressure drop causes the tendons, ligaments, and muscles to start expanding. Your nervous system quickly responds by altering the rate of blood flow.

Dehydration from Heat

Although an increase in temperature may not have a direct effect on the joints, dehydration due to heat exposure can cause a great deal of discomfort for those struggling with arthritis.

Joint cartilage tissue is somewhere between 70 and 80 percent water, which means your body’s ability to provide the joints with enough cushioning and lubrication depends heavily on your water intake. This is particularly true in the spring and summer months when much of your water is lost through sweat.

What Can I Do About My Osteoarthritis Pain?

Although researchers only have anecdotal evidence to support the idea that those with arthritic joints may have heightened sensitivity to changes in the weather, the claim is far too common to laugh off as mere superstition. There may very well be a range of weather-related factors with the potential to cause joint pain or discomfort.

Whatever might be agitating your osteoarthritis symptoms, it is possible to address the condition at its root. Our founder, Dr. Darryl D. Robinson, has been serving the OKC area with state-of-the-art pain management treatments for nearly two decades. Our expert practitioners are specially trained to harness the body’s natural healing power. Experience long-lasting pain relief and renewed mobility without surgery.

Are you ready to start your journey to restored health and wellness?

Call us today at 405-703-4950 and schedule your evaluation.

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