Ever wonder why friends and family with aches and pains always seem to know when a big storm is headed their way? You’re not alone – our chronic pain specialists at our Benbrook pain and wellness center (as well as our Bedford location) get asked about that specific phenomenon on a regular basis. Today we’re going to share some insight on the topic with you all so that you’re not left wondering. Read on to learn more about the connection between chronic pain and weather.
Which Conditions Are Commonly Impacted
Not all patients with chronic pain experience a spike in symptoms along with changes in the weather. In fact, some research show that there are only a handful of consistent conditions with this challenge. This list includes:
- Migraines and tension headaches
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
How Weather Impacts Pain
Studies are inconclusive about the exact connection between weather and chronic pain. However, chronic pain patients consistently report an increase in pain when encountering specific changes in weather conditions. Typically, those changes include the following:
- Barometric pressure
Many chronic pain specialists speculate on the reasons behind why these conditions would impact nerves, joints or other areas of the body. Some think it may be due to exposed nerves being more sensitive to pressure changes. Others have suggested that barometric pressure changes could add extra pressure on joints. It’s also possible that extreme weather increases the chances of inactivity, which can add to joint stiffness and pain.
How Your Chronic Pain Specialist Can Help
It is important that patients who are experiencing increased symptoms – for whatever reason – schedule an appointment to see a member of their care team as soon as possible. Changes in a chronic condition can be caused by several factors. In order to receive the best possible care, a comprehensive assessment will need to be done.
At Comprehensive Pain Institute, we have arthritis doctors in Benbrook TX (as well as our second location in Bedford) who will take the time to thoroughly go over health history, symptoms, current treatments and any other relevant information. They will also perform a physical evaluation and order any necessary tests or diagnostic procedures. Once these steps are completed, a new or updated treatment plan will be created.
At Home Tips & Treatments
There are also several ways patients can address their weather-related discomfort from within their own home. However, it’s critical to first clear any new treatments with a member of your care team before beginning. Ideas to discuss with your chronic pain specialist may include the following:
- Heat/Humidity: Stay hydrated, go for a swim in a cool pool, stay inside a place that has air conditioning or dress in loose/lightweight clothing.
- Cold Temperatures: Try a paraffin dip on your hands or feet, take a hot shower, soak in a hot tub or use a heating pad.
Pain is a wide spectrum of disorders including acute pain, chronic pain and cancer pain, and sometimes a combination of these. The physicians at CPI have special training in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of all different types of pain. We offer a broad scope of services depending on your specific set of needs as a patient and will create a unique, customized treatment plan that’s just right for you. Contact us today to learn more!