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Can Bad Weather Cause Pain?

November 7, 2012

We’ve all heard our grandparents or someone with arthritis say, “It’s going to rain today.” and often they are correct. Scientists don’t all agree that weather causes pain but there are plausible theories. The top theory is that it’s actually changes in air pressure. David Borenstein, MD, FACP, FACR, says, “the thing that affects people most is barometric pressure.” Barometric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us. This pressure can drop before bad weather sets in and the lower pressure pushes less against the body, allowing tissue to expand. Those expanded tissues can put pressure on joints.


For relief from weather-related pain, here are a couple of tips:

Stay Warm: Dress in layers, keep your home heated and warm up the car before you get in. You can also try sleeping under an electric blanket.

Prevent Swelling: Try wearing spandex gloves at night to try to keep fluid out of the joints.

Keep Moving!: Before you go outside in cold weather, try exercising your sore joints to loosen up stiffness.

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