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Home / Blog / Can a Change in Weather Cause Joint and Arthritis Pain?
Author: Collin Land

Are you one of those people who can tell a storm is brewing when your joints start to hurt? Or perhaps you suffer from headaches that seem to increase after or during a change in the weather?

Many people suffering from chronic conditions like arthritis or migraines notice a correlation between bad weather and pain, but the evidence to prove this link exists remains largely anecdotal. Studies on the matter are inconclusive.

It can be difficult to pinpoint what causes your condition to worsen.  However, if you feel increased joint pain or get headaches on cold and dreary days, you may be weather sensitive, which means you experience physical reactions to changes in temperature, barometric pressure or precipitation.

Arthritis Pain and the Weather

Arthritis refers to painful inflammation of the joints that typically worsens with age. While there are several types and causes of arthritis, some people believe their symptoms become more severe when changes in weather conditions occur.

Some people believe they experience flair-ups on cold and rainy days. From a scientific perspective, it’s actually changes in barometric pressure (air pressure) that may be causing increased pain.

Rain, humidity and cooler temperatures often cause drops in air pressure. These barometric fluctuations can make your muscles and tendons expand and contract, resulting in pain in the arthritis-stricken parts of your body. Georgia residents may be especially prone to joint pain due to the state’s humid subtropical climate. Even though winters tend to be mild in Georgia, the Peach State’s steamy summers, often laden with heavy rainfall, can take a significant toll on your joints.

You may also experience more pain on cold and rainy days because your ability to move around or do the things that help reduce your chronic pain are limited by staying indoors. A lack of physical activity can make your joints feel stiff and sore.

Easing Your Weather-Related Joint Pain

You don’t have to move to an arid climate to ease your joint pain. There are several things you can do to alleviate your symptoms regardless of your geographic location:

  • Exercise: If you have arthritis, being physically active can help ease your pain. You don’t have to do strenuous workouts to keep your symptoms from flaring up. Even a little bit of daily exercise can make a significant difference. When bad weather is keeping you at home, you can always whip out your exercise mat and do some simple stretching or yoga.
  • Stay warm: Keep yourself warm on chilly days. Dress in layers, wear warm gloves and socks and keep your home comfortably warm.
  • Pamper your joints with a paraffin bath: Dip your hands in melted wax and let them absorb the heat. Most nails salons offer paraffin baths, but you can also do the treatment at home. Just be careful not to burn yourself.
  • Look into regenerative medicine: Aside from your regular treatment, you may want to explore regenerative medicine, like PRP injections, to help manage your symptoms.

Barometric Pressure Headaches

If you’re prone to severe headaches, it could be that one of the things triggering them are changes in barometric pressure. If your headaches come on or worsen on cold or rainy and humid days, documenting these occurrences will help you look for patterns and predict when your next headache may occur.

Barometric pressure headaches happen when there’s a drop in air pressure. Typically, heavy precipitation and temperature drops cause air pressure to plummet. When this happens, you may experience a headache or a migraine accompanied by some additional symptoms, like nausea, vomiting or pain in one or both of your temples.

It’s not really possible to diagnose barometric headaches, but your doctor will likely suggest starting a journal and keeping track of your headaches and when they occur. Treatment of bariatric headaches is similar to the treatment of other types of headaches and may include things like over-the-counter pain medications, nausea medications and resting in a dark room.

Preventing Barometric Pressure Headaches

Aside from taking medication, you may prevent your barometric pressure headaches from happening by adhering to these tips:

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Get at least eight hours of sleep every night
  • Eat healthy and nutritious meals
  • Find time to relax and destress from a busy day
  • Exercise at least three days a week
  • See a chiropractor

Visit Optimum Health Rehab in Georgia for Joint Pain and Headache Management

Georgia residents suffering from joint pain or persistent headaches can find much-needed relief by undergoing our many non-invasive wellness and chiropractic treatments. Call us at (877) 704-1761 to schedule an appointment at an Optimum Health Rehab location near you.

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