5 Ways the Winter Months Affect My Chronic Pain


With the recent severe weather threatening vast parts of the U.S., I have been struggling greatly. I have also been asked by a number of people about how the weather affects my pain, so here is my short and semi-sarcastic list for understanding how weather affects my body and my pain.

1. As the temperature goes down, my pain goes up.

If you ever hear someone complaining about bone chilling cold, please send a loving message to your friends and family struggling with chronic pain. They are probably struggling with bone cracking pain. Better yet, bring them a heating pad and some chocolate.

2. As the chance of precipitation increases, so does my pain.

If there is a 100 percent chance of snow, there is also a 100 percent chance of me having a love affair with my couch for the duration of the precipitation.

3. The more erratic the weather, the more unpredictable my pain.

Those weeks when we go from highs in the 50s and then plummet to lows in the single digits are very hard on my body, and my pain shows it. Every joint hurts, all of my muscles ache, and my head throbs. Vast swings in temperature mean vast swings in my pain, too.

4. Winter storm warnings serve as absence warnings.

If we are in for a doozy of a storm, the chances of me making it into work plummet like the mercury does. Not only does the weather bring increased pain for me, but I don’t like driving in normal weather, so driving during whiteout conditions while requiring pain medication is just not an option or a risk I am willing to expose myself and others to.

5. “But the snow is so pretty!”

That means it is also blindingly bright outside, and as someone with migraines, that is a no-go for me. It is pretty, but after one glance, I am fine until next year as I wear my giant Audrey Hepburn sunglasses everywhere.

Don’t get me wrong – the winter season can be beautiful and fun. But, for those of us living with chronic pain, I would be just fine if we had pretty snow for Christmas and New Years and stable temperatures for the rest of the season. Unlike Elsa, I just cant let it go. Winter weather and I just cant get along.

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Gettyimage by: DeepGreen


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