Does Rainy Weather Bring Out Aches And Pains?

For some patients, a change in weather and plenty of rainfall could mean more aches and pains in their joints. (Photo: aijiro / Shutterstock)
For some patients, a change in weather and plenty of rainfall could mean more aches and pains in their joints. (Photo: aijiro / Shutterstock)
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It's been a soggy spring, with unprecedented rainfall in Ohio. Farmers are having trouble planting crops, Lake Erie is swollen with water, and for some, the rain means a flare up of bodily aches and pains.

Patients with chronic pain conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, or lower back issues often tell University Hospitals Director of Wellness Dr. Roy Buchinsky that their pain gets worse with rainy weather. But the evidence on this is lacking. A 2017 large analysis study found no link between rain and outpatient visits for joint or back pain, or rheumatoid arthritis.

"While scientifically there may be no evidence to prove that weather changes and rain in particular affect joint pain, there are definitely some anecdotal cases where this definitely holds true," Buchinsky said. "People can really have a change in their pain levels based on the rain or based on the weather changes."

Buchinsky says it’s possible that in cases like arthritis, nerves around the joint are more exposed and thus more sensitive to cold weather and rain.

On rainy days, Buchinsky recommends staying active with exercises like yoga or swimming to reduce pain.

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