Barometric Pressure

Can your body predict the weather?

May 23, 2012

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Many people have claimed to be able to "predict" approaching rainstorms by observing pains in various parts of their bodies, particularly in the joints and bones. It has been suggested that variations in barometric pressure may be the cause of this phenomenon.


The numbers above show the barometric pressure at the beginning of the day, and the end of the day. By looking at the numbers, you will be able to tell if the atmospheric pressure is expected to rise (or fall) drastically.

Barometric pressure is defined as the "amount of pressure exerted against a surface by the weight of the air in the atmosphere." The atmospheric pressure is measured by a barometer, hence the term "barometric pressure."


People encounter barometric pressure changes when high and low pressure systems move through an area, or when they travel from low altitudes to high altitudes. The easiest way to tell if barometric pressure will drastically change in your area is if immediate severe weather has been forecast; storms indicate that areas of low air pressure are moving through.



Barometric pressure changes can have little to great effect on existing medical conditions of some people, such as arthritis. Those with swelling or inflammation around the joints may feel their aches and pains exacerbated when air pressure drops. Air can also become trapped in sinuses affected by allergies; when air pressure decreases, the pressure trapped inside can cause even more pain.


Aside from common aches and joint pains as a result of low barometric pressure, people are also known to experience migraines that appear to be related to the weather. When the air pressure outside of your bodychanges, the blood vessels inside tend to react by expanding or contracting, causing a headache.


Understanding weather is a way of managing the onset of increased pain or migraines. By using forecast information, people can take preventative medication beforehand and avoid triggers such as red wine and chocolate to decrease levels of pain caused by barometric pressure changes. Patients should also consult with their physicians about taking any extra anti-inflammatory drugs in order to relieve pressure-related pains.


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