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The Weather and How We Feel

Ask anyone with a joint or muscular problem if they are affected by the weather and you will hear a resounding "YES". Some of us believe we can actually tell when a storm is coming by the feeling in our bones.

The technical support for this is actually very limited; not many controlled studies have been conducted to determine the validity of these claims. Even Hippocrates noted the link between pain and weather as far back as 400BC.

Some small-scale studies have confirmed what we all already know - that barometric pressure changes can cause severe joint pain, especially if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.

Why? Well, believe it or not, it is relatively simple. All of our bones and joints and muscles have different density (actually this also applies to tendons and scar tissue as well).

Basic science taught us that temperature affects expansion and contraction. You will probably note that your rings or shoes fit tighter on a very hot, humid day, and looser on a cooler day.

That is because we are expanding and/or contracting along with the temperature. The difference may be subtle, but in areas that have been injured, or in which the density has been changed from the norm there will be a stronger reaction and the areas will expand or contract differently than an uninjured, or perfectly "normal" area of the body.

Another theory is that weather patterns can play an integral part on a person's mood. If that is the case, it could be that it is the perception of pain that is increased rather than the pain itself.

Some people believe that a move to a dry climate is the answer, but again, there is no research to back this up. Some small studies have actually found the contrary to be true.

They have determined that the body establishes a type of equilibrium with the local climate. If this is the case than changes in the weather may result in an increase in pain regardless of the actual temperature or humidity.

Like they say "Everybody' talks about the weather, but nobody can really do anything about it."

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