Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Orthopedic Associates' Blog

How Do Your Bones Know When the Weather Is Changing?
How Do Your Bones Know When the Weather Is Changing?

By: Dr. Burke

“A storm’s a-comin’. I can feel it in my bones!”

You’ve probably heard someone say those same words and it may sound like an old wives’ tale. The reality is there may be some truth to your bones telegraphing when a change in weather is on its way. Barometric pressure shifts with different weather fronts and the fluctuation in pressure has a direct impact on joints and bone.

Bones or joints that have experienced a major injury or surgery can be the first place your body experiences change in barometric pressure. It may be why old football injuries ache and your bum knee may not be up for taking the stairs. When the environment is hotter, our muscles tend to be more relaxed and inclined to move well. When the temperature cools, it triggers our muscles and joints to contract more and limit motion as part of our built-in ‘survival’ mode.

Some scientists and healthcare leaders hypothesize that headaches and migraines may be early signs of inclement weather. It’s believed that people who suffer from arthritis notice an increasing level of arthritic pain in direct correlation to every ten-degree drop in temperature. (Arthritis.org)

James Gladstone, co-director of sports medicine at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, shared, "Arthritis affects everything else within the joint itself, including the joint lining, which we call the synovium, as well as the ligaments that are within the joint… All of those tissues have nerve endings in them, so they're going to feel changes in the weather as tightness in the joint, or stiffness." (Weather.com)

Even if you don’t suffer from pain, you may experience stiffness in your joints with a change in the weather. This may make you more susceptible to injuries as you move and exercise. It’s best to warm up well before beginning any moderate to advanced exercise during the spring or fall seasons.

If you suffer from significant pain during changing weather, you don’t have to live with it. Our Orthopedic Associates team can help identify the nature and extent of your pain to develop a changing-weather treatment plan. The first step in relieving your pain is to start a conversation with one of our board-certified physicians. Click here to schedule your next appointment with Orthopedic Associates.

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