It’s not uncommon to hear of someone with a chronic pain condition attributing spikes in pain to weather conditions. In fact, it’s so common that previous studies have shown that over 90% of people suffering from widespread chronic pain believe that the weather can enflame their pain, particularly cold or humid conditions.
However, similar scientific studies have shown that there is in fact little to no correlation between weather conditions and the weather, even when studying people with the same type of pain caused by the same disease. This is particularly true amongst arthritis patients, who have been shown to be far more likely to blame pain on the weather than sufferers of any other chronic condition. Researchers claim that people often associate their pain with the weather through what is known as “selective matching,” or the tendency to fixate on salient coincidences.
Nonetheless, the issue is far from resolved. Scientific studies have been able to somewhat demonstrate this relationship on an inconsistent, but somewhat considerable scale. This has led to three theories:
- Bad weather usually means lower atmospheric pressure, allowing tissues in the body to expand and create uncomfortable pressure
- Lower barometric pressure means augmented cytokine pathways, leading to damage of host cells
- Rain and/or cold temperatures combined with lower pressure can cause swelling in a joint, causing pain
The common factor in all three of these theories: atmospheric/barometric pressure. One study from the Arthritis Research Institute in Florida found that patients who had osteoarthritis of the hip experienced significant increases in pain with large swings in barometric pressure. Therefore, the results concluded that temperature and precipitation had no bearing on pain increases, but the accompanying pressure changes could potentially have an impact on pain levels.
If you are having trouble managing your own chronic pain, whether from arthritis or another condition, don’t continue with traditional treatments or risk potentially costly surgery. At ProMED Pain Rehabilitation Institute, we want to help as many people as possible avoid major spine surgery. Our Bolingbrook pain management clinic specializes in non-surgical pain relief procedures and can help you seek relief from the symptoms of your chronic pain-causing conditions.Call ProMED Pain Rehabilitation Institute today at (630) 426-3270 to find out if you’re a candidate for our treatments!