How Humidity and Weather Affect Our Joints

The weather and humidity condition of a region changes with the season. And while these changes have become all too familiar, they are often accompanied with some subtle environmental variations that affect the human body in more ways than one. The muscles, ligaments, andtendons in the human body contract or expand based on the humidity and weather.

Baroreceptors are sensory nerves in human joints that pick up on changes in weather. A variation in barometric pressure, temperature fluctuations, precipitation, anddehydration,are a few of the changes that accompany a shift in weather or humidity condition of a region.  And while these variations have little or no effect on some persons, those with back pain, arthritis or other bone and joint injuries tell a different story. Here are some of the ways by which humidity and weather affect the human joints.

  • Barometric pressure

The levels of human body fluids vary with barometric pressure. And in most cases, an increase in the barometric pressure of one’s surrounding is often the cause of human headaches and joint pains. Researchers have shown that this situation is due in large part to the neuroreceptors in nerve endings that are ultrasensitive to the slightest variation in pressure. Why these receptors pick up on pressure changes is yet to be ascertained, but the fact remains that people around the world with bone or joint injuries complain when the weather becomes damp.

  • Temperature fluctuations

Variation in temperature is the leading cause of joint pains around the world. These variations affect the central nervous systems which controlheart contraction and blood vessels resistance. People of all ages with arthritis or other bone and joint injuries have come to associate weather changes with increased joint sensation and tissue inflammation. This sensation is intensively feltwhen the change in weather is more abrupt. 

  • Dehydration

Dehydration is also an instigator of joint pains.  Studies have established that the loss of body fluids and excessive sweating in a hotand humid environment poses a seriousthreat of chronic dehydration if left unchecked. Such a highlevel of humidity thickens the blood and increases pressure in the blood vessels. Consequently, more effort will be required to pump blood throughout the body and joint cartilage oftendo not get the required amount of fluid that is necessary for them to function optimally. Thisleads to joint pains.

What you can do to ease the pain

Water helps keep the body hydrated and drinking lots of water is one way of combating the effects of the weather and humidity on one’sjoints. Drinking 1-2 glasses of water every 1-2 hour will reduce water loss and help maintain the body fluid level. Other great approaches would be to go for a swim or consider biking. Swimming has proven to be a practicaltherapy for those with joint, bone or joint injuries. And biking is a low-impact form of exercise that is soothing to those with muscle and joint pains.


Texas Pain and Regenerative Medicine

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Phone: (832) 486-9346

Email: sfahed@texaspainrm.com

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