Weather and pain; does the weather make people hurt worse?

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A new study from the UK entitled Cloudy with a chance of pain studied weather patterns and how people feel.   Most of us have a story about a grandparent telling us about a chronic problem such as knee pain that hurts worse with the weather. In our chiropractic office, the phenomenon frequently begins a day or two before the weather front fully develops.  It is common for the office phone to ring more on inclement weather days.   It is also common for people to be more sensitive and agitated on those days during treatment sessions. Areas of the body that are sore are typically more sensitive than normal  Many of the patients require more work to help them feel better on those days. The study performed in Great Britain from theUniversity of Manchester-based researchers and their collaborators conducted a 15-month study on 13,000 participants.

Study findings

Participants used a smartphone app that communicated with a local weather app to record their daily pain levels. After 5.1 million reports, comparing each individual, researchers found days with higher humidity, lower pressure, and stronger winds are more likely associated with high pain days.  This result was consistent with the beliefs of many of the participants. Scientists are just beginning to understand how weather affects the body.  The theory behind this is that since we are made of mostly weather, low pressure and high humidity cause the tissues and nerves to swell which can result in more pain on certain days. Rainy days are a great time to see your chiropractor since they can improve the way you move and will loosen tight tissues that may be more problematic due to bad weather days.