Why Your Joints Hurt When The Weather Changes

Question.  Have you ever felt a pain in your joint and thought, “Hmmm, there must be a storm coming”?  Is that superstition or science?  Drum roll please…the answer is science and it’s very simple to explain.   First, we know from grade school science, that heat causes things to expand while cold causes things to contract.  Remember when your gym teacher made you stretch to “warm up”, so you wouldn’t pull a muscle?  There’s a lot of truth to that.


All your muscles attach to your skeleton, so they can move your skeleton in the ways you’re designed to move.  Your muscles and fascial tissue also wrap around your skeleton to protect it from breaks and malalignments.  When the muscles and fascial tissue heat up, they become more flexible and extensible. They also become more absorptive of impact and shock.  When muscles and fascial tissue are cold, they contract around the skeleton, pulling bone into bone, compressing the joints.  The nerve endings between the bones, also get compressed, triggering a pain response.  Cold muscles and fascia are also far more likely to tear when they are stressed.


Barometric Pressure, which you might hear your local weatherperson report, is the measurement of the weight of air on the surface of the earth.  High pressure usually means fair weather and clear skies.  But low pressure systems mean that air rises, which cools as it goes higher.  This lowers the air temperature and if there is enough condensation around, clouds can form.  This can lead to storms.  So the cooling effects of low pressure systems, which can cause storms, can be felt in your joints and muscles.  Therefore, when you feel a little achy, before a storm breaks, it could very well could be because the temperature has dropped, which you can feel in your bones.  Some people even get good enough at feeling the barometric pressure drop before the storm.  So, it’s science more than superstition.  Your body is a genius.  Practice listening to it and it won’t ever steer you wrong.


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