Why Do My Joints Hurt When It Rains? Exploring How and Why Weather Affects Joint Pain
Could you find a job as a weatherman or weatherwoman just by how your joints feel before a storm?
“Why do my joints hurt when it rains?”
In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the science behind the phenomenon of joint pain before a storm. Additionally, we will explore how changes in barometric pressure affect inflammation, blood vessel changes, and individual pain sensitivity. Furthermore, we will introduce a fascinating connection between gut health and joint pain during weather changes, discussing leaky gut and its potential role in exacerbating joint pain.
The Barometric Pressure Effect on Knee Pain
When it comes to pain in your knee or other joint and rainy weather, the role of barometric pressure cannot be ignored. Though researchers will try to tell you it doesn’t make any difference, my patients tell me a completely different story. Take 82 year-old Barbara, she can predict an upcoming rain storm with amazing accuracy just by the way her knee and shoulder feel a few days before a storm.
Barometric pressure, also known as atmospheric pressure, is the weight of the atmosphere pressing down on the Earth’s surface. It fluctuates with weather changes and can significantly affect our joints.
As a storm approaches, barometric pressure typically drops. This decrease in pressure affects joints, especially for those with preexisting conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Some joints like the knee, shoulder, hip, ankle, and even the joints of the spine contain synovial fluid, which serves as a lubricant and cushion. Changes in barometric pressure can cause the tissues around the joints to expand or contract slightly, influencing the pressure within the joint.
Consequently, this can lead to heightened pressure and discomfort, resulting in joint pain during rainy weather.
Inflammation and Joint Pain
Inflammation plays a pivotal role in joint pain, and weather changes can significantly impact the body’s inflammatory responses. When the barometric pressure falls before a storm, some individuals may experience increased joint inflammation. This heightened inflammation can be attributed to changes in the body’s immune response and the release of inflammatory substances. Inflamed joints often become swollen, tender, and painful, exacerbating discomfort before rainy weather sets in.
Blood Vessel Changes and Joint Pain
Weather changes can also influence blood vessels in the body, which may contribute to joint pain. As barometric pressure falls, blood vessels can expand (or contract), resulting in changes in blood flow to the joints. While this is part of the body’s natural response to injury or inflammation, it can intensify discomfort experienced in the joints. The changes in blood flow, especially if they expand, can lead to swelling, redness, and heightened sensitivity in the affected area, amplifying the perception of pain.
Individual Pain Sensitivity and Joint Pain
The experience of joint pain during rainy weather varies from person to person and can be influenced by individual pain sensitivity and the body’s nervous system response. Some individuals are more sensitive to changes in weather due to their nervous system’s heightened responsiveness. When the barometric pressure drops, the nervous system may become more excitable, magnifying the perception of pain in the joints. This heightened pain sensitivity further contributes to pain during rainy weather.
Understanding the Connection
Individuals who regularly experience joint pain when it rains often seek answers to alleviate their discomfort. While the connection between weather changes and pain is well-established per patient reports, it’s important to recognize that there is not much consensus in the literature about why it happens. It may involve factors such as age, existing joint conditions, overall health, and genetics.
As we strive to understand the complex relationship between weather and joint pain, an emerging concept deserves attention—the connection between gut health and joint pain during weather changes. Recent research has introduced the intriguing hypothesis that links gut health to joint pain during changes in barometric pressure.
Leaky Gut and Its Potential Role in Joint Pain
Leaky gut, scientifically known as increased intestinal permeability, is a condition where the lining of the intestines becomes more porous, allowing substances to pass through more easily. It has been associated with various health issues, including autoimmune diseases and joint pain. Research has shown that an imbalance in gut microbiota and inflammation can contribute to leaky gut.
How Leaky Gut Relates to Weather-Induced Joint Pain
The connection between leaky gut and weather-induced joint pain begins to take shape when we consider the impact of falling barometric pressure on the gut. According to “Boyle’s law, decreased barometric pressure causes the intestinal gas volume to expand” (Yamamoto, 2020).
Excess gas in the intestines may contribute to increased gut inflammation and further compromise the integrity of the intestinal barrier. If leaky gut is exacerbated during weather changes, it could allow more bacteria and toxins to migrate from the gut into the bloodstream. This, in turn, could lead to systemic inflammation and potentially affect the joints.
It’s important to emphasize that this theory is still in the realm of emerging research. Studies are needed to confirm these connections definitively. However, it offers a novel perspective on why some individuals experience heightened joint pain before storms.
In the clinic setting, I have noticed that people who have aching in their joints when the weather changes often have less than optimal diet, gut issues, or only short-term relief with our Softwave device. This is a strong indication that the problem with joint pain is potentially coming from the gut based on the research on the gut-joint axis.
If you find yourself dealing with these issues, call New You Health and Wellness at 414 299 8121 to help you get rid of your joint pain once and for all with our comprehensive program to address your joint pain.
Yamamoto, Y., Miyagawa, Y., Kitazawa, M., Tanaka, H., Kuroiwa, M., Hondo, N., Koyama, M., Nakamura, S., Tokumaru, S., Muranaka, F., & Soejima, Y. (2020). Impact of barometric pressure on adhesive small bowel obstruction: a retrospective study. BMC surgery, 20(1), 168. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12893-020-00829-1