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Pain when the weather changes: can the weather really affect?

It is not uncommon for people who suffer from chronic pain or have suffered from fractures or injuries in the past to experience a change in their health condition in relation to the changing weather.This phenomenon called meteoropathy is quite common and occurs especially when moving from dry temperatures to wetter climates.

How meteoropathy manifests itself

The worsening of pain in conjunction with climatic variations mainly affects the weakest areas of the body such as the cervical tract or the back , but also those already affected by fractures , old surgeries, hernias or other disorders.

About three quarters of those living with chronic painful inflammatory diseases such as arthritis , migraines , fibromyalgia , ankylosing spondylitis or neuropathy also report the fact .

This phenomenon, however, is not homogeneous since there are those who complain of a worsening when temperatures drop, some when the days are windier, some still when it rains. However, almost everyone agrees that something different happens.

The possible explanations for these events are currently not yet clear , also because until now the question has almost always been treated as an urban legend or a little more.

One of the causes seems to be sought in the atmospheric pressure which changes when the weather changes, significantly increasing the liquids present in the human body .

The effect would be stronger in the points already affected by some trauma or pathology, while in healthy tissues there would remain a good balance between intra and extra cellular fluids and this would avoid the appearance of pain in completely healthy people.

In the affected areas, the increase in extracellular fluids would generate an inflammatory state or worsen the one already in progress.

However, this is a first theory supported by few other details , given that to date science had never been able to study in depth what was the correlation between worsening of certain health conditions and weather conditions, also due to various factors between whose different perception of pain by people and the lifestyles of the sick.

But now a new study could shed further clarity .

What an English study says

According to research conducted by a group of scholars from the University of Manchester, led by Professor Dixon, the popular beliefs associated with meteoropathy have a scientific basis.

The study, called Cloudy with a chance of pain, looked at around 13,000 British citizens from across the UK living with chronic pain, particularly patients with arthritis, over a 14-month observation period.

Each of them was asked to record daily, through a specially created App, every change in perception in pain felt, even the slightest, and to describe it in a precise way. At the same time, a GPS tracker constantly recorded their position and the current weather conditions at the time the changes were indicated.

The results of the research

At the end of the observation and after a careful analysis of the many data collected, it emerged that the weather can really affect the perception of pain for certain pathologies.

In order of incidence, in particular the high percentage of humidity, low pressure conditions and very windy weather would be the most frequent weather conditions on days when patients said they felt more pain.

The scientists engaged in the research were able to quantify this worsening of the malaise with a percentage equal to about 20% more.

Potential developments of the discovery

The English study, in addition to satisfying a curiosity that has been alive for centuries, could also be the first step in a new approach to managing people suffering from chronic disorders.

Knowing what worst your state is, for example, you can partially plan your daily activities taking into account the weather forecast.

Furthermore, greater knowledge of the influence of the environment on pain perception could also represent a turning point from a clinical point of view because it could help scientists to clarify the mechanisms underlying chronic pain in patients and consequently propose more targeted and effective treatments. .

How to fight the weather with physical activity

Dike altogether meteoropathy and the onset of more severe symptoms in combination of adverse weather conditions it is very difficult, but the sport can provide a great help .

Strength- training and stretching exercises are useful for reducing extracellular fluids and consequently particularly indicated when the pain radiates to a specific part of the body such as the back or neck area .

Movements aimed at improving posture , on the other hand, are more suitable in case of generalized disturbances because by stretching and making the muscles more flexible, they make the body less subject to weather variations.

Before proceeding with a specific workout, however, it is always advisable to contact your doctor or trusted physiotherapist.

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