Weather & Barometric Pressure - It's Influence on Pain



Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness in Belfield provides servicing to many near by Inner West suburbs including Belmore, Strathfield and Croydon park. See our weekly blog below if you are interested in new research, facts, general information or ideas.

Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy presents ... a discussion on the contribution of weather conditions and barometric pressure changes on conditions of the body.

The influence of weather on pain and conditions has been on discussion for many years.

Many clinicians disregard weather’s influence on pain, however there are studies suggesting some findings on its proven impact on pain sensitivity.

What is some evidence suggesting? Let’s start with barometric pressure…

Barometric pressure refers to a measure of the weight in the air

In relation to chronic injuries, this means that when a cool or warm front is approaching, this change can ramp up the ache and then settle down once the weather has settled in.

It is suggested that such changes in barometric pressure can cause contraction and expansion of tendons, muscles, bones and scar tissue, this can result in pain at sites of microtrauma.

The article at discussion was conducted in 2014, in relation to how the body responds to damp/rain, cold or hot weather. They investigated self-perceived weather sensitivity and joint pain in older patients with osteoarthritis from six European counties.

Ultimately, the study found that weather-sensitive people with osteoarthritis reported that damp/rain and/or cold weather affected their pain levels. Consequently, hot weather conditions were less frequently reporting to influence pain levels. The suggestion may be that low temperatures can increase the thickness of joint fluids – increasing stiffness and making it more sensitive to pain during movement.

Interesting evidence… have you experienced this before?

The current study emphasises the importance of considering weather as a reason for joint aggravation and pain in patients with osteoarthritis. As physiotherapist’s, we need to consider all aspects of pain aggravation and have an open mind.


To find out more about how about osteoarthritis and weather's influence, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.

Reference: Timmermans, E. J., van der Pas, S., Schaap, L. A., Sanchez-Martinez, M., Zambon, S., Peter, R., Pedersen, N. L., Dennison, E. M., Denkinger, M., Castell, M. V., Siviero, P., Herbolsheimer, F., Edwards, M. H., Otero, A. & Deeg, D. JH. (2014). Self-perceived weather sensitivity and joint pain in older people with osteoarthritis in six European counties: results from the European project on osteoarthritis (eposa). BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 15(66), 1-11.

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