How Weather Affects Pain

Like all other living creatures, human beings have adapted to the environment on our planet. That includes seasonal changes and different weather patterns. Because of this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that changes in weather can affect pain — especially for those with chronic pain issues.

This blog post from Advantage Chiropractic will dig deeper into that phenomenon:

Back pain is one of the most common forms of chronic pain as it afflicts more than 30 million Americans. Factors that cause this such as injury, disk degeneration, arthritis, bone fractures, muscle tears, scar tissues, etc., can often be affected by changes in the weather. Your back is a complex network of bones, muscles, nerves, and tissues. When it grows colder outside, your blood vessels start to narrow. This lowers the flow of blood throughout your body. While this is a natural response and is designed to conserve body heat, it also has an unintended effect of stiffening many of your back’s components.

There can be a mental and emotional state that negatively affects pain as well. For some people, colder or inclement weather often triggers stressed or depressed emotions and anxieties which in turn often makes chronic pain feel even worse. In addition, when it gets colder outside, people find themselves limiting time outside their house which can cause them to become more inactive. Decreasing physical activity then results in chronic pain conditions worsening. This happens when joints and muscles stiffen and limit your mobility. It might also lead to a spiral when you start to feel even less and less like moving around or being active.

Believe it or not, hot and humid summer days can also have an effect on some individuals with chronic pain. Studies have shown that heat and humidity affect inflamed tissue and the way joints expand and contract. When that happens, some people with joint issues feel even more pain.

The good news is that we know how to treat chronic pain—even when the weather affects it. Schedule a consultation today to learn how we can best help treat your chronic pain.