We’re at that time of year when the temperatures may drop. On the one hand, we love this because, well, snow! The winter season provides us with the opportunity to change up our routine, to get out and about in ways we simply can’t when the weather is warmer. While the weather change may give us something to smile about, there may also be an increase in the aches and pains we feel. Many people are aware of this phenomenon, and some even claim that their achy joints can predict rain or other weather events. Ok. Interesting. But why does this happen?
The good news is that scientific studies haven’t confirmed that the weather causes joints to become inflamed or unhealthy. Whew! The interesting news is that there is no solid evidence that points to any clear reasons for the clear symptomology that some people experience when temperatures plummet. All we have at this point is the theory, and it’s worth knowing.
It’s all about Pressure
When we think of the weather, we usually look at temperature. We may also look at humidity, or weather or not it will rain or snow. What we usually pass right over is a little thing called barometric pressure. This is the weight of the atmosphere in which we live; literal air pressure in the environment. This pressure decreases with an impending weather front such as a rainstorm or snow. When barometric pressure is low, there is less pressure within the atmosphere and therefore less pressure on the body. As this theory goes, it is believed that decreased pressure may allow bodily tissue to expand. In some cases, this expansion is significant enough to cause joint pain.
This may sound “out there,” but research has already proven that bodily tissue swells at higher altitudes. So, if your joints are speaking up a little more this season, it could be because they are acting as the tiny barometers they are. Keep in mind, though, that joint pain should not linger or worsen. If it does, schedule a visit to one of our New Jersey orthopedics offices.
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