Weather Pains: What is Meteoropathy?

Weather Pains: What is Meteoropathy?


This article explores the topic of meteoropathy, or weather pains, which refers to a painful or negative reaction of the human body to weather changes.

The article covers the history of meteoropathy, its symptoms and types, and the people who are most prone to it. It also discusses how weather pains appear and the main ways to prevent them.

Additionally, the article provides information on scientific research on meteoropathy and its treatment and diagnosis. A callout block is included at the beginning of the article, promoting an app for weather-dependent people.

What are the Weather Pains

Weather pains (or meteoropathy) – is a painful or negative reaction of the human body to weather changes, caused by a violation of its adaptation to such changes due to congenital or acquired diseases

Strong weather stimuli may exacerbate symptoms in people with mental illnesses [1234].

At such times, people sensitive to weather conditions may experience headaches and dizziness [56], changes in blood pressure [7], aggression [8], and accelerated heart rates [4].

Researchers in different countries have determined that patients suffering from anxiety [9], depression [3], schizophrenia [1011], and bipolar disorder [121314] are particularly vulnerable to changes in the weather. McWilliams et al. saw a correlation between barometric pressure and internal hospital admissions for mania [15].

Yes, the human body is able to adapt to any weather!

Here are some meteorological factors that can affect well-being: heat or cold, snow or rain, solar flares (geomagnetic activity or solar storms), humidity or barometric pressure change.

It has been established that weather-dependent people may have increased or decreased heart rate and blood pressure changes, resulting in the brain getting less oxygen, which causes headaches, weakness, apathy, and other unpleasant feelings.

Bones and joints often begin to hurt, especially where there are fractures, scars, or other skin injuries.

The reason is again the weather: skin, joints, and bones, (transforming by fractions of a millimeter ), also adapt to changes in ambient humidity. Fractures or injuries have an altered tissue/bone structure, that’s why they are most sensitive to changes.

All these are negative symptoms of weather pains and your body's attempts to adapt to changing weather conditions.


History of meteoropathy (weather pains)

Many people think that weather pains are a problem of modern people living in times of bad ecology, non-active lifestyle, and constant stress, but it is not true!

About 400 BC, people already noticed the weather sensitivity and the connection between poor health and the vagaries of the weather.

Thus, even the ancient Greek physician and philosopher Hippocrates mentioned the symptoms of weather pains in his scientific works, and urged local healers:

Be especially careful when the weather changes, avoid bloodletting, cauterization and do not take a scalpel during this period

Also, some works on bioclimatology by the ancient Greek physician Diocles have also survived to our days . He divided the year into six periods and recommended his patients a certain lifestyle in each of them.

The ancient Germans noted that joint and muscle pain are more frequent in wet cold weather, and called such pains "weather pains".

The Tibetan healers even linked any ailment to weather changes

More recent scientific studies have also noted that overall human well-being can be influenced by the strength and direction of the wind and the constant movement of atmospheric fronts.

Scientific research on weather pains

An updated list of scientific and medical research on weather pains and meteoropathy.

Who is prone to weather pains?

Most often, people who have any congenital or acquired diseases feel noticeable discomfort.

Usually, these are problems with the circulatory system, blood vessels, and heart, including those arising from stress and an inactive lifestyle.

These people are also weather-dependent:

  • those who have respiratory diseases and asthmatics;
  • people with atherosclerosis;
  • people with joint pain or bone fractures;
  • people with nervous system disorders.

The body of such people is weakened, which means that it wastes more energy on adaptation.

As a result, there are negative physical, mental or other sensations that appear with the sudden changes in the weather or before these changes.

Weather pains also occur against the background of vegetative-vascular dystonia (VVD), an unbalanced type of nervous system, any chronic disease, or earlier physical injuries.

There are up to 35% of the world's population dependent on weather changes, and even about 70% of people with any cardiovascular disease.

It is known that many historical figures, including Napoleon, Mozart, Leonardo da Vinci, Byron, Columbus, suffered "under the weather" feelings and meteoropathy. In the scientific work "The Experience of Studying the Weather", the greatest poet, statesman, and thinker, Goethe, noted that when the barometer reads high it is much easier to work than when it reads low.

Symptoms & Types of Weather Pains (Meteoropathy)

Types of weather pains (meteoropathy)

Usually, weather-dependent people feel variable (changeable, unstable) symptoms with the same picture of patterns, which can be conditionally divided into five main types:

  • Cerebral cephalalgia (headaches), dizziness, ringing in the ears, noise in the head, darkening of the eyes.
  • Cardiac palpitations, shortness of breath, discomfort and heaviness in the region of the heart
  • Mixed heart and brain symptoms combined
  • Asthenoneurotic nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness at night, sleepiness during the day, surges in blood pressure, depressed and anxious mood
  • Uncertain arthralgia (joint pain), myalgia (muscle pain) without clear localization, feeling unwell

Stages of weather pains (meteoropathy)

According to the severity of symptoms, the stages of meteoropathy can be conditionally divided into:

  1. Mild - the malaise is almost imperceptible, mood can inexplicably change
  2. Medium - bad feeling is noticeable: blood pressure changes, heart rate increases, shortness of breath appears.
  3. Severe (critical) is expressed in the limitation of certain body functions, dizziness, digestive disorders , migraine, exacerbation of chronic diseases

It should be noted that weather changes most affect the well-being of people suffering from cardiovascular diseases - with a sharp change in weather, there is a strong vasospasm, which can lead not only to a hypertensive crisis, but even to a myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke!

According to the statistics, the number of patients with myocardial infarction doubles in the days of cyclones!

Important! Most often, the complications described above, require emergency medical care to avoid more severe consequences, including death. If you feel the same symptoms – see a doctor right away !

Main symptoms of weather pains (meteoropathy)

Let's analyze the main symptoms of weather pains in more detail:

Weather Headaches. One of the most common manifestations among weather-dependent people of all ages, most often appears before or on the day of the sharp change in the weather.

Weather Headache

Weather Headache: How Does Rain and Barometric Pressure May Affect HealthWeather Headache: How Does Rain and Barometric Pressure May Affect Health

Headache is caused by vasospasms, which do not have time to rebuild themselves under a sudden change in the weather, or by the congestion in the veins of the brain. Most often, the pain is localized in the back of the head or in the temples and may be accompanied by dizziness and nausea.

Drowsiness, weakness, and dizziness most often appear before the rain (also known as rain pains), as at this time the barometric pressure decreases and the oxygen in the air decreases - feeling this shortage, the organism tries to save energy. Usually, these symptoms pass quickly, as the body is able to adapt to these weather changes easily.

Arterial hypertension is widespread among elderly people or people with chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system during an anticyclone, or, in other words, when the barometric pressure increases and changes blood pressure.

Especially big jumps in blood pressure are observed when the anticyclone is accompanied by a cold snap. Also, an increased humidity, combined with strong gusts of wind, can cause hypothermia of the body. As a result, there is vasoconstriction (narrowing of the vessels) of the face and other limbs, which may lead to an increase in blood pressure.

Joint, bone, muscle and body pain often happens with surges in barometric pressure to people who are overweight or have any previous injuries.

Joint Pain When It Rains: Causes, Symptoms, and TreatmentJoint Pain When It Rains: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

How Changes in Weather Affect Joint Pain

Fluctuations in barometric pressure cause changes in pressure in the joint (the joints are filled with synovial fluid), as well as irritation of the nerve endings of the cartilage tissue and receptors. All of these creates pain, burning and discomfort felt in the joints.

If such sensations appear during changes in the weather, then it is a clear sign that degenerative processes have begun in the cartilaginous tissue of the joints, and this can be a symptom of a number of serious diseases, such as:

  • arthrosis - dystrophy and degeneration of articular surfaces and cartilage damage. It is manifested in crunching, pain, limitation of limb mobility - contracture (muscle contractions), which can lead to the micro-shortening of the leg or arm;
  • arthritis - inflammatory lesions of the joints of various origins. It manifests itself as general sickness, intensifying in the second half of the night and in the morning, local hypothermia, swelling, a feeling of stiffness and limitation of joint mobility;
  • sciatica - inflammation and compression of spinal nerve roots. It manifests itself in pain along the affected nerve roots and the nerves formed from them, impaired sensitivity, sometimes in movement disorders;
  • osteochondrosis is a spinal disorder, when the intervertebral discs, and then the bodies of the vertebrae themselves, joints and ligaments lose the ability to function properly

Important! Symptoms of weather pains can be felt along with vascular diseases, heart and spine diseases. This symptom must not be ignored - you need to consult a doctor for a more accurate diagnosis and selection of the necessary treatment regimen!

Apathy, bad temper, aggressiveness during weather jumps are most often widespread among people with high receptor sensitivity.

This condition, when the mental state of too impressionable people collapses during sharp weather surges, is officially recognized as one of the types of neurotic disorders and is called meteoneurosis.

It should be noted that, to a greater extent, the deterioration of well-being occurs not so much because of the vagaries of the weather themselves, but because of a psychological factor, such as the current mental state of a person.

In other words, a person inclined to this type of thinking, imagining the outcome of an event, as a rule, sees it in an unfavorable light and his health and mood begins to depend on the weather in the window.

How do weather pains appear?

The human body works simply (joke, no) – when the weather changes the nerve receptors of the human body can be compared to antennas capable of picking up any changes in weather conditions.

These receptors transmit signals to the brain and the vegetative-vascular system, which temporarily puts other body systems on “high alert” and commands them to adapt to changes in the weather around.


For example, barometric pressure causes a reaction of our blood vessels: they can expand or, conversely, narrow, which can adversely affect blood circulation in the body, in particular, the oxygen supply to the brain. Thus, the brain does not receive energy for normal functioning. And hence, there are headaches, dizziness, weakness, apathy, and depressed mood.

A weak body is vulnerable to other ailments. Some people have digestive disorders, some have blurred vision, and others feel pain in the joints or broken bones.

There is also an explanation of pain in the broken bones. It happens for one simple reason - after the fracture, the structure of the bone changes. During humidity or barometric pressure changes, the body tries to adapt to them by a slight curvature of all the bones in the body. As the places of fractures are denser and less flexible, nagging pain appears in these places.

And what about healthy people, whose body adaptation mechanisms work well, most often they do not react to any weather changes or experience insignificant sensations.

Certainly , our body responds to weather changes. Our bones and joints work like "balloons" - they compress in response to higher barometric pressure and expand to lower barometric pressure – Doc. Win Chang, FAAOS ShoulderSphere

When and why weather pains appear

The weather pains occur more frequently during periods of barometric pressure drops. Human blood vessels contain baroreceptors - a special type of nerve endings which respond to fluctuations in barometric pressure and send signals to the brain that blood pressure needs to be adjusted due to these changes.

This mechanism is often disrupted among people with cardiovascular diseases or arthritis , that’s why there are spikes in blood pressure, accompanied by dizziness, irregular heart rhythms, and severe joint pain.

Changes in geomagnetic activity (solar flares) can affect the blood quality - high solar and geomagnetic activity contributes to an increase in blood viscosity, and lower one - to its liquefaction.

Thicker blood moves harder through the vessels, resulting in an increase in blood pressure , and there is a risk of blood clots and oxygen starvation of internal organs here.

Excessive liquid blood is dangerous because of the bleeding development, especially if there are problems with the tone of the walls of blood vessels.

Humidity changes. Changes in air humidity adversely affect people with chronic respiratory diseases.

High air humidity increases the risk of tissue swelling, asthma attacks and bronchospasms. Low humidity creates a fertile ground to get an acute respiratory infection - thick, viscous, difficult-to-separate sputum which accumulates pathogens forms in the bronchi.

Humidity also affects people with fractures or injuries of the limbs, which begin to hurt (pain ranging from nagging to stabbing , depending on the time after the injury) due to changes in the tissue or bone structure caused by this very humidity .

Changes in air temperature. Daily average temperature fluctuations in the range of 8 - 10 degrees can provoke sudden emissions of histamine - the main "activator" of allergic reactions.

With a sharp rise in temperature, the oxygen content in the air decreases significantly, which can cause general malaise and severe drowsiness and lethargy, while low temperatures can provoke an exacerbation of infectious and inflammatory processes.

Diagnostics & Treatment of Weather Pains


As the weather pains most often appear when people have chronic diseases, there is no specific treatment for it. The therapy is carried out in relation to existing diseases to achieve stable remission and prevent complications.

For the diagnosis and treatment, first of all, it is necessary to consult a therapist.

Due to the peculiarities of meteoropathy syndrome, treatment for weather pains comes down to visiting a doctor and a thorough examination of the existing and acquired diseases of the patient's body: cardiovascular system disorders, nervous diseases, injuries or other symptoms that are aggravated by weather changes.

Due to the peculiarities of meteoropathy syndrome, treatment for weather pain comes down to visiting a doctor and a thorough study of the existing and acquired diseases of the patient's body: disorders of the cardiovascular system, nervous diseases, injuries or other symptoms that are aggravated by weather changes.

Timely diagnosis and treatment of each symptom individually (or in combination, as the doctor decides) normalizes the body and its organs, which allows it to more easily and quickly adapt to weather changes, spending less energy on it and not provoking the very painful sensations.

At the same time, an important part of the treatment for meteoropathy consists of its prevention.

The main ways to prevent weather pains

Prevention of weather pains is associated with the compliance with the number of simple recommendations that doctors have been sharing for hundreds of years (but which most people consciously ignore).

Follow a healthy lifestyle:

  • Do flexibility exercises throughout the day. This will keep your blood vessels and muscles in shape, and provide better circulation of blood through the body.
  • Sleep for at least 7-8 hours. Healthy sleep is a key to a healthy brain.
  • Consume fluid at least 0,2-0,4 gal per day. Water is essential for the normal functioning of the WHOLE organism. Try to drink no more than 1-2 cups of coffee a day and, of course, minimize the consumption of any alcohol.
  • Eat right. Food gives energy to every cell in our body. Pay attention to the composition of the food you eat daily, try to maintain a diet rich in natural vitamins and components, but not substitutes and preservatives.
  • Follow a diet, exclude greasy protein foods, fried, smoked, and spicy foods, semi-finished products, adding more foods that contain vitamin E and omega acids, such as walnuts, broccoli, brussels sprouts, bell peppers, salmon, cod, tuna.
  • Give up bad habits. Understand a simple thing - your body is ALREADY susceptible to negative factors in the form of bad ecology and stress every day, which slowly, but harms it. It is wasting energy, which is getting less and less as you get older. Adding smoking, drinking alcohol and other bad habits will only speed up the moment when your body says "I'm finally tired."
  • Minimize the adverse impact of weather factors on your body. Stay at home during bad weather if possible, do not burden yourself with serious tasks on such days, keep your feet and neck warm, avoid cold drafts, etc.

Massage during weather pains. Do self-massage, which will help to improve blood circulation and increase the body's resistance and ease weather pains:

  • Take a comfortable, relaxed sitting or lying position, massage one hand with the other, stretch them, then press on opposite sides of the palm, firmly squeeze and then loosen your fingers, rub your hands on all sides. Session time: 3-5 minutes.
  • Firmly get around the left wrist with your right hand, press, move your right hand from the wrist towards the elbow and shoulder, then do the same in the opposite direction. Repeat the exercise 10-12 times with each hand.
  • Wrap your forehead with your fingers, lightly press, massage your face in a wave-like and circular motion down to the chin, bypassing the nose, then massage upwards to the ears and back of the head. Session time - 3-5 minutes.
  • Put the right palm on the left side of the chest, press lightly and massage your body diagonally to the right thigh in circular motions . Do the same with the other hand, from the right chest to the left thigh. Repeat the exercise, sitting or lying down, 9-10 times at a slow pace. Then, gently tingling , stretch the area of the jugular foramen , rich in arterial vessels that provide general blood flow. Massaging this zone helps with asthma, bronchitis, and acute respiratory infections caused by changes in weather or acclimatization.
  • Put both hands on your right thigh, press your fingers tightly, as if wrapping them around the leg, massage the skin and muscles towards the shin , then repeat the action in the opposite direction. Repeat the exercise 8-10 times. Then do the same with the left leg. This massage technique helps to increase joint mobility, normalize blood circulation in the tissues of the lower limbs , remove puffiness and improve well-being.
  • With your legs slightly bent, put your hands on your kneecaps, make circular movements clockwise and then counterclockwise. If this exercise is done correctly, the skin should turn slightly red. This self-massage technique helps to relieve joint pain caused by changing weather. Session time: 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Warm up your palms, wrap them around the back of the neck in the trapezius area , hold for 5 seconds, move stroking from the head to the shoulders, warm up the neck zone, then pick up the pace and increase the pressure. Session time: 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Fix the thumbs on the trapezius muscles, put the rest of the fingers on the neck. Do circular motions with your thumbs on either side of the spine upwards and back. Use the edges of your hands , to hit the trapezius muscle , finish the exercise by stroking for 5 - 7 times.

The stimulation of biologically active points (acupoints) that are located on the auricles is also quite effective for the treatment of weather sensitivity:

  1. Cover your ears with your palms so that your fingers are on the back of your head, press on your ears with your palms, while tapping your fingers on the back of your head, then increase the pressure on your ears, while pressing your fingertips on the back of your head. This self-massage technique helps with a breakdown, attention deficit disorders and irritability.
  2. Carefully (simultaneously or alternately) stretch and warm up the auricles with your fingers - start at the edge of the ear, then slowly pull the lobes down and to the sides. Stimulation of these zones has a beneficial effect on the general tone of the body, helps to strengthen the immune system, and reduces the symptoms of weather pains.
  3. Use your fingers to massage the auricles in different directions until they become warm.

ATTENTION! After any massage session, avoid hypothermia not to catch a cold, and not to reduce the efficiency of the procedure!


As you can see, with the correct approach, weather pains can be taken under control and lived with them, gradually getting rid of the symptoms and diseases that are the origin of all the unpleasant sensations during the changing weather.

Generally speaking, and no matter how trite it may sound, follow a healthy way of life ! Millions of doctors around the world advise us to strengthen our health , do morning exercises, get enough sleep, eat right and give up bad habits, but only a few people actually follow these simple recommendations, forgetting that everything of genius is simple!

And we remind you that if your body acutely reacts to weather changes, then be sure to consult a doctor who will choose the right therapy to treat existing diseases in order to avoid their transition to chronic forms. And let your mood and well-being be excellent in any weather!

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