Why Does the RAIN bring the PAIN?

Many of us with chronic illnesses and/or inflammatory diseases can serve as amateur meteorologists.  We can feel the rain coming in our bones.  I know I can.  When it is raining or about to rain, I feel joint pain.  The more it rains, the more pain I feel.  Sometimes my whole body feels tired and bogged down.  When I was young, I really didn't believe the old ladies when they said that their arthritis let them know when it was going to rain.  Now that I have my own inflammatory disease I totally understand.

So why does the rain bring the pain?  Well,  it is less about the rain and more about the barometric pressure.  As barometric pressure decreases, usually clouds begin to form bringing the rain or wet weather.  As barometric pressure decreases it also has an affect on the body.  If a joint is already inflamed, swollen or abnormal then the decrease in barometric pressure causes the gas and tissues to expand.  This is felt as more pain to us.

The body's joints have sensory nerves called baro-receptors that respond to changes in barometric pressure.  When the barometric pressure drops or is low, it signifies that the air has become moist.  This usually means that the rain is not too far behind.  People with arthritis feel the change more because they have less cartilage cushioning their joints.  It is true that people with joint pain know the weather before it occurs.  When the barometric pressure goes down right before a storm, their pain goes up.  The American Journal of Medicine found a correlation that supports this theory.  

Well, I know that I cannot stand moist, rainy, cold weather.  It makes me feel bad.  But at least now we all know why we feel this pain.  Unfortunately, there is nothing that we can do about it.  So my suggestion is to use a rainy day to relax, sleep and enjoy a nice cup of cocoa while watching your favorite movie.

Wishing you many Sunny days,


Jacqueline said...

Wow! Thanks so much for this explanation. It has always been a mystery to me. :-)

Simmi said...

No problem at all Jacqueline. It is kind of cool being a human barometer. Well besides the pain!! :0)

Anonymous said...

great post....great explanation of which most people don't know about..thanks!

Simmi said...

You are very welcome!! I am glad to be of service ;-)

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