Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and the Weather
Do you sometimes feel like a human barometer? Do you experience increased pain whenever the weather changes? If so, you’re not alone. Most people with fibromyalgia and many people with other chronic pain problems report pain flares that coincide with changes in the weather. Often it doesn’t seem to matter what kind of weather it is as much as the fact that it changes.
Would it help you make plans if you knew ahead of time which days were more likely to be good days and which days you might expect a flare? Well, now you may be able to do just that. My friend Teri Robert, Expert on MyMigraineConnection.com, told me about a new feature on The Weather Channel’s Web site - an Aches & Pains Index.
This index forecasts the potential of weather-related aches and pains for people with chronic health conditions that make them sensitive to changes in weather conditions. They use a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 representing no risk and 10 representing the highest risk.
According to The Weather Channel, "The Aches & Pains Index is calculated using barometric pressure, absolute humidity, chance of precipitation, temperature and wind. Areas of quiet, dry weather during warmer times of the year are generally associated with lower levels of aches and pains. Approaching areas of low pressure or strong frontal systems, both leading to stormy weather, may cause higher levels of aches and pains."
To find your own local Aches & Pains Index:
- Go to The Weather Channel’s Web site.
- Move your cursor over the "Healthy Living" tab at the top.
- Choose "Aches & Pains."
- Enter your zip code in the space provided and click "Go."
- Scroll down until you see a chart that looks like the one pictured at the top of this page.
Since I just learned about this site a couple of days ago, I don’t yet know how well it will work for me. Check it out and let me know how accurate it is for you.
Karen is the Co-Founder of the National Fibromyalgia Association. She wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Pain Management.