There are many people who often claim to have an arthritic joint with the power to tell the future, at least meteorologically. They will stare out the window on a perfectly pleasant, sunny day, distractedly rubbing a painful shoulder, and proclaim solemnly, “A storm’s a comin’.”

The idea that certain painful health conditions are affected by the weather is an ancient claim, dating back to at least Hippocrates in the 4th century B.C and no even doubt earlier. But can this phenomenon be explained?

 A Theory

Definition
biometeorology
[ bahy-oh-mee-tee-uh-rol-uh-jee ]
noun

  1. the study of the relationship between living organisms and weather.

The most popular theory to date relates to atmospheric pressure variations. There’s even a biological discipline that studies the relationship between atmospheric conditions and people, “Human Biometeorology”.

As bad weather, such as a storm, approaches the barometric pressure drops. Joints may not be able to adjust to the pressure change, and then the soft tissue and fluid around joints expand, irritating nerves and causing pain. This is especially true of any joints that are arthritic. Also, the metal that is in knee, ankle, or hip replacements can cause pain if the weather turns cold. This is particularly true for patients who have had recent implants or replacements. For the first few years, the bone is adapting and growing around any metal prosthesis. Bone activity is sensitive to weather and pressure changes.

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