Can your pain predict the weather? Doctors weigh in

Dr. Michael Sevilla says patients frequently tell him they can predict the weather by how they feel

joints arthritis elbow


SALEM, Ohio (WYTV) – It’s very common that people talk about their joints hurting more when the weather is changing. Inflammation is at the root of the pain and many believe a flare up in arthritis or other joint conditions are precipitated by changing weather conditions.

Dr. Michael Sevilla practices medicine in Salem He says patients frequently tell him they can predict the weather by how they feel.

Past studies have been inconclusive in proving the link between weather and arthritis. Some say there is plenty of proof, while others say temperature, humidity, precipitation might play a role but there are too many variables to be certain.

“They say Doc, I know exactly when it is going to rain when it is going to snow because my joints get bad,” Sevilla said. “There are stories that say forget it, there is no way. But I have a lot of stories and anecdotal evidence from my patients.”

Weather likely plays a role when it comes to barometric changes, which could be the main culprit. Air pressure can affect joints. Less pressure causes joints to open up and expand. High pressure could cause them to flatten out, which may cause pain.

No matter what is causing your pain and stiffness Dr. Sevilla says there are a few things you can do to help. Ice, heat and topical creams are helpful but the most important thing to do is stay active and eat a healthy diet.

An online tool can help you predict how much pain your joints will be in based on the weather forecast. The tool is also helpful for people who get migraines or have allergies. You can check it out on AccuWeather’s website.