My whole entire life I’d been playing competitive sports, whether it was soccer or lacrosse, I never once got seriously injured. Sure, I had gotten bruises and definitely felt sore after games, but never once broke a bone from a sport until a dumb, little flag football game. During a flag football game my junior year I had been hit and broke my hand, which resulted in having to undergo surgery in order to place two permanent screws in my hand. Obviously I was angered and annoyed that it would take a while for my hand to feel back to normal; however, it was not until someone had told me I’d still feel pain in my hand when it rains is when I became even more paranoid. Would this really happen to me and is it true that rain causes our bones to feel pain? And is there a possibility that this pain could cause me to have arthritis in years to come? I was determined to figure this out by testing hypothesis and researching data in order to discover which hypothesis was correct. The null hypothesis would be rain does not cause joint pain, while the alternative hypothesis would be rain does cause joint pain.
According to Annie Hausser, barometric pressure may have something to do with why one could feel pain in their joints when it is about to rain. Barometric pressure is the weight in the air in the atmosphere. When barometric pressure is low, the weather tends to be worse which can result in rain, ice, or possibly snow. But what does this have to do with our joints? According to Dr. James Gladstone, joint linings and the ligaments have nerve linings which when the weather pressure changes one will feel stiffness in the joint. Robert Jamison, PhD and a Professor at Harvard Medical School, conducted a study with people who had severe chronic pain to see if when the barometric pressure dropped would the people feel more pain. The results concluded that 67.9% of the people who had severe chronic pain felt more pain when the barometric pressure dropped! This information concludes that the alternative hypothesis stands and rain does cause joint pain because of the change in barometric pressure.
So would I be feeling this pain now? According to the Arthritis Foundation, if I were to be feeling this pain I’d already have arthritis. Lucky for me, I have not yet to feel pain in my hand; yet since my fracture was considered a ‘traumatic injury’ (usually an injury caused in sports or accidents) I am more likely to develop osteoarthritis. According to the U.S Center for Sports Medicine, this type of arthritis occurs when cartilage is damaged, resulting in it not being able to be replaced. That is why this type of arthritis is so common in people who have shoulder or knee replacements or in my case screws implanted in my hand. Treatment for this type of arthritis varies by the severity of it and is best to be consulted by an orthopedic doctor. Another possible way to lower your pain when the weather gets worse, is to bundle up. According to the Arthritis and Osteoporosis in Western Australia, by keeping heat in your body, you are less likely to feel the pain. For example, it’d be smart to wear gloves or mittens if you get the arthritis pains in your hand. So, even though I don’t feel pain now, my chances are very high because of my type of injury.
All in all, it is proven that rain and weather can cause pain to one’s joints. By having a traumatic injury to bones and joints, the chances of one feeling pain on gloomy days is much higher than a person who never injured a bone or joint. I definitely consider being more careful next time you play a sport because you do not want to feel pain just from a rainy day!
Here is a link to help those who already have arthritis pain to see how the barometric pressure is dropping near you.