Infotech

Does weather affect joint pain?

The skies are clear blue, but your ankle starts flaring up with arthritis pain. Could a storm be looming? You feel it in your bones, but is it just an old wives’ tale? Or can joint pain actually predict weather changes?
Believe it or not, your weather forecasting might have some validity, thanks to the effects of barometric pressure changes on your body.
People blame increased pain on the weather, according to Robert Newlin Jamison, PhD, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School and a researcher who has studied weather’s effects on chronic pain patients.
“Everyone’s got an aunt who complained that her knee or ankle would flare up. Or Uncle Charlie’s shoulder would give him trouble and he would say, ‘Oh, the weather’s changing,’” he says.
But Jamison, who is also the chief psychologist at the Pain Management Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, has seen patients worry about being ridiculed. “For whatever reason, people with chronic pain are real shy about saying it, because they think other people think they’re nuts,” he says.
Joint pain can affect one or more joints.
Causes
Joint pain can be caused by many types of injuries or conditions. It may be linked to arthritis, bursitis, and muscle pain. No matter what causes it, joint pain can be very bothersome. Some things that can cause joint pain are:
Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
Bursitis
Chondromalacia patellae
Crystals in the joint: Gout (especially found in the big toe) and CPPD arthritis (pseudogout)
Infections caused by a virus
Injury, such as a fracture
Osteoarthritis
Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
Septic arthritis (joint infection)
Tendinitis
Unusual exertion or overuse, including strains or sprains
— Internet

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