Joint Pain and Weather: Is There a Link?
When it rains, some of us can feel it in our bones; we can see it coming—painfully— thanks to our aching ankles, knees, elbows and every other joint in our body.
But are there actual links between joint pain and the weather, or is this merely a mindful play of the old wives’ tale ingrained in our recollections?
Doctors and scientists have so far struggled to reach a conclusive agreement. All of them have supporting studies to back up their arguments.
Among the many plausible theories explaining the links between weather and joint pain, changes in air pressure and its impact on our joints, is definitely the one that’s worth visiting.
We are surrounded by an atmosphere. This atmosphere has a barometric pressure that pushes against our bodies. It’s weight-like, but in a good way… it keeps our tissues from expanding.
However, when the weather changes from good to bad, this barometric pressure drops. As the pressure drops, tissues expand—and the expanded tissues put pressure on our joints.
Sometimes, the pressure can be excessive, and our joints may start hurting.
These changes happen on a microscopic level, so we hardly notice them. Unfortunately, they carry sensations that can painful.
What backs this theory?
Under the study, some 222 patients with hip osteoarthritis were assessed and the association between weather conditions and clinical symptoms of OA in these patients was investigated. The study concluded in favor of the barometric pressure theory.
With that being said, many experts don’t believe in this theory at all.
Their reasoning behind the denial? Their clinical experience.
And backing their argument is a latest study, performed by a group of researchers who evaluated medical records of 11, 673, 392 Medicare outpatient visits.
According to the findings, more visits for bone and joint pain were recorded on dryer days than wet ones. This is the biggest study conducted so far in terms of sample size.
In summary, there seems to be no consensus among medical researchers on the subject of weather and joint pain. For now, the topic remains disputed. However, with rapid advancements in the field of medical science, we can definitely expect this question to be answered sooner rather than later.
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