I can feel the weather in my bones!

"I can feel the weather in my bones, Doc!," a patient said to me the other day.

We have all heard the old saying about feeling the weather in one’s bones, but is it true? The answer is yes, and here’s why. Changes in barometric pressure and temperature can dramatically affect our bodies, especially if we have arthritis.

In a 2007 study, researchers at Tufts University in Boston found that for every 10-degree drop in temperature there was a corresponding increase in arthritis pain. Additionally, they reported that increasing barometric pressure increased pain.

Studies in cadavers show that barometric pressure affects pressure inside the joints. When pressure in the hip joints is equal with atmospheric pressure, it throws the ball of the hip joint about one-third of an inch off track.

Additionally, according to some reports, as much as two-thirds of people say that they live with chronic joint pain and believe there’s a connection between their pain and changes in the weather. Arthritis can affect everything within the joint, including the joint lining and the ligaments within the joint which, affected by the weather, may cause tightness or stiffness in the joint.

Here are a few tips you can try which may help with your weather-related pain:

  • Chiropractic adjustments (of course)
  • Stretching gently indoors and using heat creams
  • Drinking plenty of water – even mild dehydration may make you more sensitive to pain
  • Losing weight can significantly improve knee arthritis if you are carrying a few extra pounds
  • Exercising – people with joint pain should stay active (try swimming in a warm pool)

Fortunately, your joints generally return to normal as the weather changes, but if you experience unusual or ongoing joint pain, come to the clinic and I will help you with a treatment plan.

Wishing all of the mothers a Happy Mother's Day!

Stay well adjusted,

Dr. Dan

(Portions of this article originally appeared on https://www.spineorthocenter.com/)