Weather and Joints
Why do people feel the weather changin in their
joints? Is it just a superstition?
People feel weather changes in their bodies because storm systems are
accompanied by lower air pressure. When a storm system is approaching the
barometric pressure or air pressure will drop. Inside the body is air
pressure also. The pressure inside the body is approximately 15 lbs per
square inch. Normal air pressure on the outside is approximately the same.
When both numbers are equal most people don't feel anything. However,
when the low pressure system approaches or the air pressure drops, the
pressure on the inside of the body is greater than outside and that air on
the inside tries to get out because air flows from high pressure to low
pressure. This causes swelling and discomfort in some people's joints,
especially in the elderly or people who have suffered injuries to those
areas (those areas are weakened somewhat due to the injury and less
resistant to the changes in pressure).
It is because of the changes in air pressure that we are able to better
forecast the weather.
Changes in air pressure can also be experienced by going up or down a hill,
riding in an elevator in a tall building, or even flying in an airplane.
Click here to return to the Biology Archives
Update: June 2012