Chances are, you’ve heard someone mention that their knee acts up when it’s going to rain. Maybe you have a friend who gets headaches when the temperature changes. These statements may seem far-fetched, but how much truth do they hold? Can someone experience pain depending on the weather? In this article, we will explore this more deeply.
For people who experience frequent headaches, changes in the weather may be the cause. When temperature changes, or when it rains, the barometric pressure in the sky changes as well. Fluctuations in air pressure are what cause rain and thunderstorms! When the pressure changes, it may affect nerve signals in some people, thus causing headaches.
In fact, headaches can occur when there’s any major change in the weather: grey skies, high humidity, thunderstorms, and high winds are only a few.
Changes in the weather can also worsen chronic joint pain, although the reason for this is still largely unknown. As of right now, scientists have several theories as to why joints ache when the weather changes.
One theory states that when the temperature drops, the body sends more blood to the heart and lungs to conserve heat. The reduced blood flow in the joints then leads to pain and stiffness. Another theory states that barometric pressure changes cause the muscles, tendons, and other tissue to expand, which puts pressure on nerves and triggers joint pain. This relates to the third theory: when the joint’s nerves are exposed due to damaged cartilage, they may become more sensitive to changes in pressure.
Decreased activity may also cause joint pain when it rains. When the body is inactive for extended periods of time, the joints become stiff. Not to mention, we tend to stay indoors when it gets too cold or rainy, leading to longer periods of inactivity.
When it comes to scars, your skin may feel like it’s stretched thin in places where it’s still healing—especially in the cold. In fact, cold weather can cause scars to ache! When the temperature drops, so does the humidity. Because of this, skin can dry out and crack. With sensitive scar tissue, the lack of moisture can make the skin more vulnerable to pain and reopening.
Alongside low moisture, cold temperatures can also lead to slower blood flow. For people with scar tissue that is still healing, getting blood to the injury is integral. With the cold, however, less blood flows to areas outside the heart and lungs, limiting your body’s ability to regenerate tissue.
Difficulty Breathing or Aching Lungs
When it’s cold outside, it is possible for someone’s chest to feel tight or ache, their nose to bleed, or their throat to feel scratchy. These symptoms are all connected! This is because our lungs and airway are lined with a thin layer of fluid, which sounds gross initially, but this fluid is what keeps our lungs from hurting when we breathe.
When we step out into the cold, moisture from the skin, hair, and airway are drawn out into the air. This causes dry skin, frizzy hair, and sometimes, achy lungs. For people with respiratory complications like asthma, bronchitis, or COPD, the lack of moisture can exasperate these complications and make it harder to breathe.
Prepare for the Weather
The best way to avoid the pain that accompanies the weather is to prepare for the weather itself. This may mean wrapping up scarred areas of your body to keep them extra warm, wearing a scarf over your nose or mouth to keep out the cold air, or simply staying inside when it gets stormy outside. While changes in the weather may not affect everyone with chronic pain, healing scars, or breathing complications, it can still be debilitating to others.
Before you go outside, be aware of your limits and remember not to push yourself in situations that may cause pain! For all the equipment you need to manage your pain, be sure to visit Medical Supply Depot.