“Why do my joints hurt when it rains?”

Spring rain may be synonymous for joint pain for many people who experience arthritis or other problems with their joints. While some declare this to be an old wives’ tale, there may be some truth to this.

From the time of Hippocrates (the first recorded advocate of inversion), people have thought that changes in the weather had a direct relation to how we feel deep down in our bones. This can become a particular problem in the spring when sporadic rainfall can cause swelling and aching in joints. But what is the cause of it?

Many experts believe that changes in barometric pressure cause aching joints. When barometric pressure suddenly drops and the density of the air decreases, joints can swell, causing pain and discomfort.

“Weather-related joint pain is typically seen in patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other arthritic conditions. It can affect any load-bearing joint, but is most common in hips, knees, elbows, shoulders and hands. The joints contain sensory nerves called baro-receptors which respond to changes in atmospheric pressure. These receptors especially react when there is low barometric pressure, meaning the atmosphere has gone from dry to moist, like when it is going to rain” (Science Daily).

Most doctors believe that pain brought about by spring storms is more of an annoyance than an actual health concern, and should hopefully subside when spring showers pass.