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The Weather Can Affect Your Pain

Warren Memorial Hospital serving the needs of our community

It is not your imagination; the weather can cloud your health. Here we show you what the investigation reveals regarding this connection.


Changes in temperature or barometric pressure, as measured by the weight of circulating air, trigger pain in the joints, although researchers are still not entirely sure why. The higher barometric pressure was also a pain trigger in the Tufts study.

Studies in cadavers have shown that barometric pressure affects the pressure within the joint cavity. In one experiment, when the hip collective pressure was equalized, the joint dislocated about a third of an inch from the normal position.

This may also apply to issues regarding carpal tunnel syndrome.

For more information about the environmental aspects that affect our health, we invite you to visit the Forums and Resources listed in the section Your Body.


The conventional concept that storms wash pollen, smoke, mold and environmental pollutants from the air, making it easier to breathe, may be wrong, according to scientists at the University of Georgia in Athens and Emory in Atlanta. Experts have examined the records of 41 hospitals around Atlanta, finding that emergency visits for asthma increase the day after a storm. The relationship becomes more evident during storms with gusts of moderate to strong winds and humidity.

Although they are unsure of the reason why asthma flares up after a storm, researchers believe that the rain blows pollen grains, resulting in particles smaller and more comfortable to inhale. Likewise, lightning in the atmosphere can unleash a chemical reaction, turning pollutants into asthma promoters.


Studies show that 50 to 80% of all migraine sufferers believe that weather can cause a headache. However, the exact environmental patterns that precipitate migraines remain a mystery.

In a study published in 2004, Dr. Patricia Prince of Children’s Hospital Boston asked 77 individuals with a migraine to document their headaches on the calendar for a space of two years. Then he compared them with the records maintained by the National Meteorological Service.

Nearly half of the study participants had migraines that coincided with weather changes, but not all those who were time sensitive reacted to the same triggers. Some showed greater vulnerability to a combination of high heat and humidity, while others had headaches under precisely the opposite conditions.

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