Tuesday, September 28th 2021, 5:56 am - As the seasons change, the weather can be a real pain! From joint stiffness, to muscle aches, migraines and feeling down. Different types of pressure in the atmosphere can play a role in the pain we feel.
Studies have shown that low pressure and high pressure have been linked to painful joints and muscles. One of the largest studies to date has come out of the UK called, “Cloudy with a Chance of Pain”.
The study asked 13,000 people to track their pain daily using a smartphone. The GPS in the phone was also able to precisely track weather data at the time of pain. Their key findings concluded:
- Relative humidity had the strongest link to more painful days
- Low pressure and high wind speeds also linked to more pain
- Cool days seemed to be more painful if the winds were strong
- On damp windy days, pain was 20% more likely compared to a day with average weather
(Credit: The University of Manchester, Cloudy With a Chance of Pain)
It’s thought that these same conclusions could be drawn in Canada as we experience similar weather. It’s also fairly common to know someone in Canada who blames the weather on their pain. Just ask Rexall Pharmacist, Eric Lin!
“Being in the pharmacy I definitely know it's true and real when a patient comes up to me and asks me to address pains associated with weather. When the pressure is low our tissues become a little stiff and they contract. This can cause pain. As well, when the weather becomes cold and the temperature drops, our fluids within our joints will become thickened. Therefore it causes stiffness and results in pain.”
Lin adds that some of the most common weather related complaints at his pharmacy are for headaches, joint pain, muscle ache and weather impacting mood.
“If you are dealing with weather related pain you want to make sure you are staying on top of your medication and medical history. Plus, you should stay on top of the weather! Make sure you are also well hydrated and eat a balanced diet full of vitamins and supplements.”
Lin also mentioned that you can treat weather-related pain pharmacologically.
“There are definitely a lot of prescription medications that you can take, as well as over the counter supplements and cough and cold products. Our pharmacists are trained to look at you in a holistic picture so we can find the right medication for your pain.”
Lin adds that Rexall can deliver medication directly to your door keeping you away from the elements that may be causing you some discomfort this season.
Other methods of pain management can include hydro or heat therapy as this can increase blood flow to the affected area. Plus it can feel comforting on a cool day.
Living in Canada certainly forces us all to face Mother Nature on her worst days! Remember, with the right steps any season can be comfortable if you take the right precautions to live with less pain.