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More Joint Pain Before the Rainy Weather - True or Myth?

Updated on October 3, 2012

Some people claim that their joint pain and arthritis seem to get worst right before the rain comes. In fact, some say they can predict rain from the severity of their joint pain.

For those of you who do have arthritis, you might have noticed a similar pattern. But is it coincidence? Imagination? Or is there a scientific explanation?

Is there some truth to the notion that joint pain will get worst right before rainy weather? For some people, it is true and there is a scientific explanation.

Low pressure before the rain?

Rain is often associated with a lower atmospheric barometric pressure just prior to the storm. That is why weather person always shows you the "H" and the "L" where "L" represent area of "low pressure" which indicate coming rain.

This is what happens in meteorology 101. Hot air near the ground rises. This rising of the air causes the low pressure. As the air goes higher into the atmosphere, it expands and cools. When air expands and cools, it condenses to form clouds and rain. Cool air can not hold its moisture.

Why Pain?

Okay, so there is low pressure, why am I having pain?

All pain is due to nerves sending signals to the brain. Your body is full of nerve networks. There are nerves near your joints. Changes in atmospheric pressure can affect the pressure within the joints. (They measured the joint pressure in cadavers as barometric pressure changes). The nerves in the joints are sensitive to this change in pressure.

Why They Don't have pain?

Okay, if everyone has nerves in their joints and they are capable of sensing pressure changes, then how come these young folks don't complain about joint pain just prior to rainy days?

The simple truth is that these "young folks" don't feel the pain. They don't have any pain because they have lots of soft cushion cartilage all around their joints to buffer any pressure changes in their joints.

Older folks with multiple decades of joint use have worn down their cartilage somewhat. There is less to buffer any pressure changes. Nerves are more exposed, so to speak. And hence are more sensitive to changes in pressure.

Am I Just Making This Up?

Although I am not a doctor, I am not making this up. For further reference, seek the Internet ...


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    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

      Thanks all for stopping by and reading.

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

      A dear friend of mine would always tell me that the weather was going to change soon because her joints ached. Even if the weather report didn't indicate it, soon they'd change the prediction and the rain would come. Rebecca knew.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No, you are not making it up. This has been known for a great many years, although the medical reasons for it are relatively new. There is no doubt that cold and damp affect the joints, and you did a great job of explaining why.

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image

      LauraGSpeaks 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Ahh, thank you for this sensible explanation. I know the cartilage in my knees has severely deteriorated. This makes perfect sense.