Do you get a hunch that it’ll rain when your joints and bones ache? We hate to burst your bubble, but many others have thought the same thing.
Depending on where you live, you might be especially bothered this summer during thunderstorm, monsoon or hurricane season. But is there truth to the idea of pain indicating rainfall or is it just a myth?
Let’s take a look.
So your joints and bones ache in the rain…
As we mentioned, it is common for anecdotal stories to be spread about the weather causing joint discomfort. There are some individuals that even provide weather prediction services!
While headaches or sinus pressure may be signs of impending or stormy weather, complaints are more often about discomfort in bones and joints.
Cleveland Clinic rheumatologist, Elaine Husni, MD, says that weather changes do not create or worsen joint health but could temporarily change how the joint feels. There hasn’t been conclusive evidence to support the claim, but a wealth of anecdotal evidence seems to show a connection. Another expert, Javad Parvizi, MD, Ph.D., of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, firmly believes that there is scientific evidence supporting the weather prediction claim.
Why would the weather lead to bone and joint discomfort?
Here is some expert opinion and evidence:
- Barometric pressure may be one cause of discomfort. A storm can cause a difference in the weight of air, resulting in a change of air pressure. This pressure pushes down on us and can instigate the negative sensations in joints and bones.
- Dr. Parvizi explains that sensory nerves in joints are affected by atmospheric pressure changes, which can cause alterations to how much fluid and pressure is inside the joint.
- Dr. James Gladstone of The Mount Sinai Hospital says that the nerve endings in joints can feel weather differences, which could exhibit in the form of joint tightness and lack of motion.
- Dr. Parvizi also notes that people with less cartilage surrounding the bones with a joint tend to feel the weather difference to a more considerable extent. He notes that specific joints, including hands, elbows, shoulders, knees, and hips more often experience discomfort than others.
- The cold temperatures may create tightness and stiffness in joints and muscles. Nonetheless, people tend to experience similar aches during warm summer rains as well.
Overall, more research is needed to fully understand whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship between rain and pain.
What to Do About Weather-Related Bone Aches
If you experience bone and joint discomfort, we highly recommended that you visit your doctor.
Mentioning that your joints and bones ache in the rain may be a helpful bit of information for them (don’t worry that your doctor will think you’re nutty – healthcare professionals hear about the weather and bone/joint-ache relationship all the time!).
Taking daily steps to improve bone and joint care becomes increasingly important as we age. A few ways to care for your bones and joints include a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking supplements with nutrients that support the bones and joints.