Some of us may get headaches or joint pain before a rainy day, but why is that? Why does weather affect our bodies? Here is the answer to the question and how you can prepare yourself for potential aches and pains.
If you have ever had a migraine before take a look outside, what does the weather look like? Additionally, if you have joint pain, check your local weather forecast. It turns out headaches or joint pain are sometimes closely related to the weather.
Does Weather Affect Our Bodies?
A lot of us have experienced some kind of ache, pain or headache when the weather changes. However, few of us know the actual reason behind it. Here is how and why the weather affects our bodies.
Barometric pressure or otherwise known as “air pressure”, is the weight of the Earth’s atmosphere. This pressure depends on your location on Earth as well as the amount of hot or cold air. Hot air is lighter and less dense than cold air. This air pushes against are bodies which can cause different affects on our bodies.
- Low Pressure – Our body’s tissue expands and there is more pressure on nerves and other parts of our body.
- High pressure – More pressure pushes more against our bodies which limits how much the tissue can expand.
Weather & Joint Pain
Arthritis and joint pain respond to changes in barometric pressure as well as humidity, temperature and precipitation. When it is about to rain or during a rainstorm there is a drop in air pressure. It causes soft tissues swell up, fluid in joints to expand which can lead to ache joints and irritated nerves.
Additionally, when it rains or snows we are most likely being less active. The change in activity and motion can cause us to become stiff and more achy.
Weather & Headaches
In a survey by the National Headache Foundation, people who suffer from headaches often relate migraines to changes in weather. It is said that people who suffer from migraines and headaches are much more sensitive to changes in weather.
Other than rain or pressure drops, headaches can also be brought on by:
- Bright sunlight
- Extreme heat or cold
- Sun glare
- High humidity
- Dry air
- Windy weather
Changes in weather may cause chemical imbalances, which can become serious during winter months or in between seasons. SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that comes during changing seasons. It usually occurs from fall to winter and fades away for spring and summer. A symptom of SAD can be headaches, irritability, low fatigue and sleep problems.
How To ease weather-induced Aches & Pains
Now that we know why and how weather affects our bodies, we need to know what we can do about it. Here are several ways you can reduce the impact weather has on your body.
Keep Warm In Low Temperatures
When there is a temperature drop, take warm showers or baths. This will not only relax you but help keep you warm and soothe any aches or pains. Additionally, wear warmer clothing and sleep with extra blankets.
Anti-inflammatory Foods & Supplements
Inflammation is a contributing to both headaches and joint pain. A diet that includes lots of anti-inflammatory foods and/or supplements will help reduce any potential inflammation.
When it’s cold or rainy we are often not keeping up with our regular physical activity. This can be what’s causing aches, pains and headaches. Regular exercise can help reduce the intensity and frequency of a headache. The body releases endorphins during exercise which act as a natural pain killer. Getting active helps reduce stress, anxiety and can even improve sleep quality.
When your dehydrated your brain temporarily contracts because of low fluids. It causes the brain to pull away from the skull which causes pain and throbbing. Additionally, staying hydrated keeps your joints and nerves lubed up. Our bodies are made of 70-80% water which is why drinking plenty of water daily is necessary.
Sometimes the best thing to do for headaches or joint pain is to just relax. Have a nice soak in the tub, a cup of tea and get comfortable. Take it easy and let your body rest.
Keep a Headache Diary
A headache diary is for listing each headache, when it happened, how long it lasted and what could have brought it on. Keeping a diary can help you determine if its weather or something else that triggers your headaches.
Why does weather affect our bodies? Sometimes during a cold or rainy day we experience joint pain or headaches. This is because there is a drop in air pressure. That drop causes swelling and tissue expansion which can be a trigger for those of us who suffer from headaches or joint pain.
While there isn’t much we can do about the weather, there are ways for us to prepare and keep ourselves healthy to prevent any aches and pain. Drinking water, regular exercise and eating a healthy diet are all efficient ways to minimize any potential pain. Next time you have a headache, jot it down and see if you can recognize a pattern!