With most of the United States experiencing rapidly changing weather patterns it makes sense to ask the question “Does change in the weather cause pain in the body?”
Medical researchers dating back to 1960’s have expressed interest in determining if weather changes can cause pain in the body. However, even before the first published study several decades ago connecting weather and pain, many people believed they can predict an incoming storm or change in weather by the amount of pain experienced in the body.
So let’s take a closer look at some of the more common pain experienced during weather changes.
Weather and Migraines
For example, a 2004 study published by Patricia Prince, MD from the Boston Children’s Hospital asked 77 migraine sufferers to keep track of their migraine headaches for a two year period. At the end of the two years, the researcher then collected weather data from the National Weather Service to see if any correlation between migraines and weather change existed.
The published study revealed that nearly 50% of the participants recorded migraine pain during weather change. However, some of the participants experienced pain during a combination of low temperatures and low humidity, while others experienced pain during high humidity and high heat. Thus, indicating one type of change in weather doesn’t cause the exact type of pain in pain sufferers.
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How Weather Affects Asthma Sufferers
In addition to migraines, asthma may able be triggered by an incoming storm. According to scientists at the University of Georgia and Emory University asthma symptoms actually increased after a thunderstorm. Conventional wisdom believed rain helped to remove mold and other pollutants in the air. However, based upon the results of the study, asthma cases actually spiked after a thunderstorm. While the exact reason still isn’t fully understood, it is believed the rain and wind from a thunderstorm actually breaks the contaminants in the air into small pieces, thus making them easier to inhale.
The researchers studied 12 years of records from 41 hospitals and emergency rooms in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area.
Research from Tufts University points to the fact that changes in barometric pressure may worsen arthritis pain in the knees. In addition, colder temperatures can actually increase the thickness in joint fluid, thus causing extreme pain.
January 2014, Dutch researchers published findings that individuals suffering from hip arthritis also experienced pain with changes in the humidity and barometric pressure.
So what can you do to fight pain during changing weather?
- If you suffer from asthma, consider wearing a multi-purpose allergy dusk mask before, during and after a thunderstorm. The multi-layer filtration helps to reduce exposure to a variety of particles.
- If you experience migraines, talk with your doctor regarding any medications to may help. Also, consider trying adding an ionizer or humidifier to your home and office.
- Joint pain may be helped by eating fatty foods like refined grains or corn oil. These foods may trigger painful inflammation. In addition, consider taking a tart cherry capsules or drinking tart cherry juice. Tart cherries are a natural source of anthocyanins. This is a powerful compound that offers anti-inflammatory benefits naturally.
- Finally, keep moving. Don’t let changes in the weather affect your overall lifestyle. Being a couch potato is bad news for your mental state because getting up and moving around helps to keep you in charge of your body.