“How do you guys deal with this horrible weather?” For some, this seems like a question for any place where the weather could be considered “bad’’ but this is a question that many people ask when dealing with chronic pain. Weather changes, typically those associated with a passing front, can irritate someone physically and leave them in pain for long periods of time or cause their pain to become worse than normal. With Fall starting, the weather will be changing rapidly, leaving these individuals susceptible to further aches.
Multiple studies and articles have been conducted and written, with a correlation between pressure changes and pain. The people who were most severely affected by pressure changes were those who had joint problems and those who dealt with migraines and headaches. The reason behind this is hypothesized to be that the body has to readjust to all of the associated changes that come with a passing front, with particular attention to pressure changes. This theory goes on to state that the brain now has to process pain in a different way due to these shifts in weather. The body has already adjusted to the conditions before the front, but a sudden change can throw off the body’s equilibrium. People can prepare for this increase in pain by not only utilizing the forecast, but by using applications that can be used to track pain levels.
For example, Migraine Buddy, an application that is tailored to those with migraines and headaches, can pinpoint the city where a migraine started and a person can also see the pressure changes that are predicted to happen within the next two days for that city. At the onset of a migraine, the weather conditions are also recorded as a baseline, to help eliminate the environmental factors as a potential cause. For people who live in pain all the time, this feature can be somewhat helpful, but it is not always accurate. Predictions can only go so far out, and the re-calibration of the location of the user is also frequently needed. The best tool for these people would be their body. After all, they tend to know when something is changing due to the flare-up of pain.
So, what does this all mean? It means that people who deal with pain are more likely to experience an uptick in pain when a front comes through because of the thermal and pressure changes associated with a front. So if one ever hears a person say that their joints ache or head hurts before a front, then they might be right. Sensing something before it happens due to an increase in pain is a perfect example of a gut feeling that may turn out to be right.
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Sources: https://weather.com/health/news/why-your-joints-hurt-when-weather-changes-20141105, https://migraineagain.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Social-List-Weather-Triggers-e1497906537762.jpg
©2019 Weather Forecaster Shannon Sullivan