HOUSTON (KIAH) – Are those aches and pains you’re feeling the result of a change in the weather? For some, a change in temperature or atmospheric pressure could be the source of unexpected pressure and pain. Dr. Niral Patel, a family urgent care physician with MedExpress located in Houston is here to talk about what impact on the body changes in the weather might cause for different people.

What is barometric pressure?

Barometric pressure, or ‘atmospheric pressure’ is the weight of the earth’s atmosphere above us. Pressure varies on a day-to-day basis and by location. Pressure can change with temperature as well. Warm air is lighter, less dense, than cold air.

High pressure is associated with relatively nice and quiet weather, and sinking air. Low pressure is associated with rising air, clouds, and sometimes even rain or storms.

Atmospheric pressure’s impact on your ‘aches and pains’

What impact does weather, particularly atmospheric or low barometric pressure have on a person’s body?

More pressure means that there is more weight pushing down on our joints and tissue. This limits the amount of expansion, or swelling of the joints, that can occur. When pressure lessens, although it is a small change, some people can feel the expansion within their bodies. Generally, pain or achiness occurs in nerves and joints.

Dr. Patel answers the following for us this morning:

  • Are we talking about the thing, same symptoms as when someone goes up in an airplane?
  • How severe is the discomfort?  Does it vary by age or sex?
  • What are the different aches and pains people might feel? Where is it concentrated on the body?
  • How would someone know if they’re experiencing discomfort from a change in the weather and not something else, like allergies or a sinus infection?
  • What can someone do to get relief from any aches or pains they’re feeling as a result of a change in the weather/pressure?