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Do Weather Changes Really Cause Pain?

snow plowingWe’ve all come across someone blaming a rainy day for the knee or back pain they’re feeling. Is there some truth to that or is it just a myth? That’s what we are here to elaborate on in this article.

At Papakura Chiropractic we’ve seen patients that come in with various discomforts and pain they want to be alleviated. People in search of a chiropractic adjustment as a result of weather changes are more common than you would think.

Overall, there’s a lack of evidence backing the claim that there’s a direct link between weather changes and body aches. Nonetheless, people from all over the world believe this to be true and so we can’t dismiss it so easily.

We’ll touch on the possible impact of barometric pressure on the human body, the lack of scientific consensus, the nocebo effect, and the impact of pre-existing conditions in this debate.

While a doctor of chiropractic can’t establish correlation as fact, it can help people searching for chiropractor for migraines, joint pain, and other related symptoms.

Barometric Pressure

Also known as atmospheric pressure, it’s been suggested that barometric pressure not only affects weather, but also the human body. Its impact on oxygen pressure changes is the key reason behind suggestions it can lead to headaches, joint aches, and other symptoms.

Especially, rapid and extreme changes in barometric pressure can cause discomfort and negative effects on the human body. In particular, individuals who are susceptible to migraines or chronic joint pain are more likely to feel the impact.

It has also been described as having similar effects to high altitudes. Some people can experience headaches, fatigue, and worsening of arthritis. Speak to a local chiro to see whether full body chiropractic adjustment will help your case.

Toni Golen, M.D., and Hope Ricciotti, M.D., at Harvard, also attribute barometric pressure as the presumed cause. Less air pressure surrounding the body can allow muscles, tendons, and other tissues to expand. This can lead to added pressure on joints, which may explain the pain that people describe resulting from weather shifts.

No Scientific Consensus

There is no consensus in the scientific community backing the claim that weather changes are a factor for body aches. While some studies have been done, there is a lack of a significant correlation between weather changes and body aches.

In a study analysing 50 female patients, weather variables showed a significant but small effect on either pain or fatigue in only 5 (10%) of the patients. The patients had already been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which is a disorder characterised by musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and mood issues. Although 10% is no small number, the study found more evidence against the impact of the weather on pain, than for. This is one of a few studies that imply the matter isn’t necessarily closed but rather more research is necessary.

Another 2017 Medicare (US) study found no statistically meaningful correlation between rainfall and outpatient visits for joint or back pain. Although, it concludes that a relation may still exist and more detailed data on severity and pain would be useful.

Even though scientific data does not support the claim, there are many patients that insist on it based on experience. Some will go as far as predicting incoming bad weather based on their symptoms of joint aches or migraines. It’s hard to discount so many people that insist on the connection between their bodies and the weather changes. Chiropractic care is available to help alleviate some of the pain regardless of whether the correlation is true or not.

Nocebo Effect?

The opposite of the placebo effect, nocebo can impact how we react and feel to our surrounding environment. The sheer belief that a drop in temperature and bad weather conditions will cause you harm, can affect one’s well-being.

Widespread dissemination of concerns regarding the weather’s impact on the human body will lead to the ‘group think’ validation. Some people are more likely to experience nocebo effects than others. Those with a pessimistic view and strongly influenced by their surroundings will be more exposed. The opposite is also true. “Glass half full” type of people with an overall positive outlook are less likely to experience nocebo effects.

Reiterating that current data as we know it does not back this claim will be helpful in minimising negative effects. It also highlights the importance of clear communication between the patient and healthcare providers to dismiss any myths.

Nonetheless, there is a popular belief that weather changes can cause body aches or joint pain, regardless of limited evidence. This belief does in fact go beyond cultural differences and languages as people across the world agree with it. After all, medical myths and longstanding beliefs die hard.

Getting a chiropractor X-Ray at your local chiropractor South Auckland based can be useful to track your overall well-being. If there are any areas of concern, chiropractic therapy may be a useful way to minimise any pain and discomfort. Thus, helping you feel more at ease, regardless of whether barometric pressure really affects your health or not.

Joint Care & Pre-Existing Conditions

People with pre-existing conditions such as arthritis are more sensitive and exposed to any changes in their surrounding environment. Thus, it isn’t hard to believe that atmospheric changes lead to reports of joint pain in people with pre-existing conditions.

Taking care of your overall health and well-being will also play a key role in your joint condition and care. Being overweight is directly linked to adverse effects as more pressure is put on your joints. Therefore, staying in good shape play an important role in your overall health, including joint care.

Being active and stretching regularly will also play a role in keeping fit and healthy. Muscles, ligaments, and tendons that don’t move regularly will feel tight and achy. Regular (although not excessive) motion plays an important role.

Seeing a chiropractor can also lead to improvements in your overall outlook and joint care. Whether you suffer from chronic pain or not, chiropractic treatment can be just what your body needs to function optimally. Natural chiropractic techniques are also designed to provide relief and improve overall functionality.

Another tip to reduce the impact of weather-related pain and fatigue is by staying warm. Heat treatments and staying warm during a downturn in weather conditions help increase blood flow and loosen up tight tissue.


More research is needed to determine whether there is a correlation between weather and body aches and pain. However, we shouldn’t dismiss the claim so quickly.

As a chiropractic office, we do not have a definitive answer to this claim. However, we regularly see patients searching for a chiropractor for hip pain, a chiropractor for headaches, and other symptoms that may be caused by rapid changes in weather conditions. Whether it’s true or not, we’re here to help you attain the benefits of a body working at optimal levels.

Whether you’re searching for a chiropractor Manukau based, Papakura, a Takanini chiropractor, or elsewhere in South Auckland, look no further. We’re a family chiropractic centre focused on giving you our undivided attention and attaining results for you and your family.

If you’re struggling with joint pain and headaches, look no further than your local Papakura chiropractor.