Eli5: Aches and pains


Why do people have worse aches and pains in their joints during cold or rainy/stormy weather, especially in areas where you have broken a bone in the past?

In: 0

When it’s cold, there’s a lower air pressure. This means your body sort of puffs up a little, like a marshmallow in a vacuum chamber.

The thing is, not all tissue stretches equally. Your bones might get pulled slightly further apart, but they themselves don’t really expand. This means the ligaments and tendons that go between the bones get stretched out. Same goes for scars, like people with war wounds: the scar doesn’t expand much, which means the neighbouring tissue gets extra stretched and becomes achy.

Drop in atmospheric pressure due to the storm causes swelling which can cause discomfort/pain. About as simple as I think I can make that.

storms are generally cause by changes in pressure / density, humidity and temperature, the more severe the differences when two air masses meet the more sever the storm.

if you already have swelling in a joint the fluid in the joint will expand when the pressure drops and contract when it rises because the relative density of the atmosphere around it.

you can submerge swollen joints to increase the relative pressure to reduce pain but it’s a temporary relief.