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Special Report: Changing weather conditions and the onset of joint pain

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Many look to their favorite meteorologist for a check on the weather forecast, but some can feel incoming weather changes by certain changes in their body.

You or someone you know might have claimed that they can “feel the rain coming” by the onset of pain in their joints and ligaments. Whether it be in the legs, knees, or back, it is assumed there is a definite relationship between what happens in the skies and what goes on inside us.

Dr. Rochelle Gould, a Physical Therapist, said she sees an increase of pain in her patients just before a cold front or a rainstorm.

The only problem? There has not been much medical research on changing weather conditions and how it could cause pain in our joints.

Dr. Gould says the reason why is because pain is subjective.

She further explains that one could say that ‘it hurts’, but there is no medical way to measure it. Therefore, there is no good evidence to prove that pain is associated with changing weather conditions.

One might think that the onset of pain in our back and limbs would be solely from changing temperatures or the moisture from rain.

While Valley Baptist Health System’s Dr. Bright Odei agrees with the lack of scientific evidence, he suggests that the answer might lie deeper within a weathercast.

“The only thing that comes a little bit close is the fact that our joints, tissues, tendons, muscles contract when the barometric pressure chances, especially when the barometric pressure goes down,” said Dr. Odei.

Therefore paying attention to those H’s and L’s on weather could likely give you a heads up of incoming pain along with weather changes.

If you suffer from pain symptoms and wanting care, doctors recommend you first contact your family health provider. However, simple stretching could be key.

Dr. Gould says that stretching as soon as you wake up in the morning by sitting up on the edge of the bed, moving your legs back, and reaching toward your toes could ease symptoms. She also says that everyone should be doing some sort of stretching every day.

In addition, Dr. Odei says that applying heat to problem areas can also help.

Doctors also recommend that daily exercise and being active could improve joint pain symptoms.

Whether you are staying ahead of the storms or ahead of the pain, the answer very well could lie within your latest weathercast.

High and Low Pressure Systems Explained

Areas of low pressure have lower pressure at the center with winds moving in a counter-clockwise direction toward the center. As the air reaches the middle, it rises, expands, and cools. It then condenses into water droplets forming clouds ultimately causing precipitation. Low-pressure systems are associated with storm systems and cold fronts.

Areas of high pressure have high pressure at their center than the areas around them with winds blowing away from it in a clockwise motion. Think of it as a force pushing down on the surface of Earth. As dry, cold air sinks, it warms up.

High pressure systems are associated with clear skies, and warmer temperatures.

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