Before the thunder rolls in or the first drop of rain falls, some people predict showers even without consulting the forecast -- they know it will rain because their joints ache.
Rheumatologist Dr. William F. Harvey treats many patients suffering from some form of arthritis and almost all of them recall extra pain when it is rainy or cold. It’s so common it seems everyone knows someone who predicts the weather by saying her joints throb, but it’s not an old wives' tale. Weather pains exist.
“It’s a very widely held belief. I am not sure I remember any patients who did not feel [pain during weather changes],” says Harvey, who works at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, as many as 27 million Americans live with osteoarthritis, what’s considered old-age or wear-and-tear arthritis (though there is about 100 different varieties of the condition). By 70, most people have osteoarthritis.