We have all heard how a change in weather can cause a change in all types of conditions including headaches, migraines, joint pain and arthritis, swelling, muscle aches, stiffness, spinal disc pain and fatigue. The exact science behind this is still being investigated but research has proved it is not ‘just’ temperature or rainfall. Instead it is thought to be primarily due to changes in barometric pressure. Barometric pressure is the atmospheric pressure and it can be affected by local changes in altitude, humidity and temperature.
- Low air pressure (ie cold damp weather) = less weight pushing down
- High air pressure (ie warm and dry) = more weight pushing down
But how does this affect our bodies? The pressure outside changes, so does the pressure inside your body and therefore your symptoms in the affected area(s) may seem worse that day. Imagine the affected area like balloon, that is able to fill up and press against surrounding tissue when the barometric pressure drops, but when the pressure is high it is more difficult to fill up and does not put as much pressure against the surrounding tissue.
It is also thought that nerves can become hypersensitive in low barometric pressure, and research is starting to look into the effects on hormone levels, blood flow and fluid dynamics.
There is definately some truth in the previous old wives tales that the weather affects how we feel.