Weather and Body Pain: Why Rain Makes Back and Shoulder Pain Worse

There are several theories about why rain makes back and shoulder pain worse. Some have to do with weight; some are mechanical, while others have to do with your emotional state. This article will explore all of these ideas as well as discussing what you can do to keep your symptoms in check when it starts raining again.

You may notice your body aching more during colder seasons, leading to beliefs that the weather can affect a person's body, particularly when it comes to pain. While it's not uncommon for old injuries to ache during cold or rainy days, many doctors have observed that more individuals feel their back and shoulders aching during rainy days.

The weather affects us all in many different ways. The temperature, humidity, and precipitation rate are some of the factors that can have a significant impact on our body pain.

So, what's exactly responsible for it? Although there's no concrete evidence, the most accepted theory is that the decreased barometric pressure during rainy days worsens the pain.

Barometric pressure or the weight of air decreases during rainy days and increases during sunny days, causing fluid in your joints to thicken, making them stiffer—affecting your spine, which in turn affects your back, shoulders, and other surrounding body parts. In essence, it makes the pain worse due to the joints stiffening.

With that in mind, here are more possible ways rainy days affect body pain and the best ways to prevent them.

Other Ways Rainy Days Contribute to Increased Pain

Many patients are surprised to find out that the pain they experience when it rains isn’t caused by rain. The weather condition of rain is actually not a factor in causing fibromyalgia pain. Rather, other factors associated with rainy days can contribute to increased fibromyalgia symptoms and pain.

Besides the widely-accepted barometric pressure theory, rainy days can contribute to increased pain in other ways as well, such as the following:

  • Reduced Blood Flow - It is a well-known fact that cold weather can cause reduced blood flow and even frostbite. However, some are not aware of the dangers posed by warm weather. Although many people take reduced blood flow as an easy way out of going to work during hot summer days, they may be jeopardizing their health in doing so.
  • Less Activity  - It’s not uncommon to feel a little tired and lethargic on rainy days. After all, there are fewer people outside, the atmosphere is more relaxed in general, and it can be tempting to just sit around and wait for the day to end. But experts say this behavior may have serious health implications.
  • Reduced Hormone Production - As the temperature drops and humidity rises, many people experience increased nasal congestion, sneezing fits, and an overall feeling of malaise. While the causes can vary from person to person, there are some consistent themes -- namely that hormonal changes in your body increase as you age.
  • Immune System Dysfunction - On rainy days, you may actually be more vulnerable to getting sick. In fact, a study of over 7500 individuals reveals that the immune system is weakened by weather conditions like rain and snowfall. This can make it harder for your body to fight off viruses such as colds or flu.
  • Cloudy and Short Days Lead to Depression-  The fall and winter months are typically much more depressing than the spring or summer. It's a common occurrence that many people in our society can relate to as they experience it themselves or know someone who does.

There have been numerous studies on this phenomenon, but what is most surprising is how much of an impact cloudy and short days actually have on your moods. In fact, according to one study by researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois, "there was a 57 percent increase in suicide rates during the autumn transition compared with other times of the year.

Preventing Weather-Related Pain

You can't control the weather, making it challenging to deal with heightened pain during the colder months, luckily it can be preventable. Although you don't necessarily need to move to a sunny climate for the sake of your back and shoulders, you can minimize the weather's, particularly the rain's effect on how you feel.

With the arrival of spring, many people are looking forward to outdoor activities. Whether you’re planning a picnic or hiking in the mountains, one thing that can ruin your fun is pain caused by weather-related conditions.

The temperature difference between outdoors and indoors can cause muscle strain; strong winds can also increase pressure on your joints. A large temperature differential between the inside and outside air may cause muscle strain or sprain. If this happens to you, try wearing a pair of shoes that have good arch support. Also, make sure to stretch

To ensure that you have an enjoyable time outside, keep these tips in mind:

  • Watch Your Diet 
  • Drink Water Frequently  
  • Stay Warm 
  • Go Outside Regularly 
  • Exercise More 
  • Explore a New Hobby 
  • Run a Humidifier 
  • Be Good To Yourself 


The effect of the weather on our well-being is still a largely debated topic. Some studies show correlations between rain and pain, while others suggest there isn't any correlation at all.

The effects of the weather are still a hotly contested issue according to some research that suggests when it rains people's shoulders, backs and a general sense of well-being suffer. However other research says that there aren't any correlations between these two elements

Although the perception of the effect of the weather, mainly rain with one's shoulder, back, and general pain, are mixed, with some saying there are no correlations.

In contrast, others found evidence to support connections between weather and pain—it's best to stay proactive and prevent it from affecting you.

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