Knee pain and weather : Is there really a link?
Knee Pain and Weather: Reports of Pain
Many patients emphatically insist that the weather affects their joints. But in the past, doctors were often inclined to think this was all in the patient’s head that pain develops with the weather.
Commonly, most patients with rheumatic symptoms would say the weather affects their symptoms. Dr. Mota was the lead investigator of a study involving 200 people with knee osteoarthritis, with an average age of 60, who lived across Asia. Every two weeks, patients went online to report their pain, and the researchers collected information about recent weather conditions from a weather station near each participant.
Survey reports say that, when you ask people what happens, they feel a crescendo of pain before the storm, and when the weather breaks and it rains, they feel some relief, said by many patients.
Not surprisingly, temperature changes are also linked to a lack of activity in people with arthritis. In a recent study measuring physical activity in 241 adults with arthritis living in Chicago (a city known for weather extremes), the amount of sedentary time increased by over three hours between November and June.
Knee Pain and Weather: Science Behind a Possible Link
Some medical evidence supports the idea that atmospheric pressure could cause knee pain. Some patients who have had surgery will complain of pain at their incision sites linked to the weather, particularly during the first year after the surgery. Research has shown that atmospheric pressure can be transmitted to the space within joints, Dr. Mota says, and “it’s logical to assume that in people with osteoarthritis having damaged cartilage, pressure could be transmitted to the bone beneath the cartilage, which contains pressure receptors and pain receptors.
Knee Pain and Weather: What Can You Do About It?
This knowledge about the weather’s effects might also help you control your knee pain better. “If you know a big front is coming in, you might make sure you’re taking your medication properly, or maybe supplement it with exercise and physical workout if you don’t have any health contraindications. If all fails, ask for a prescription from your doctor to make everything feel better.
However you treat and manage your pain, you can take comfort in the fact that science may support your forecasting ability. Weather may indeed play a role in knee pain, and more doctors are considering the connection to be valid.