ONLY ON WOAY: How Atmospheric Pressure and Summer Storms Impact Everyday Health

Oak Hill, WV (WOAY-TV): The StormWatch 4 weather team had a discussion with a local chiropractor about how imbalances in our weather may be putting strain on your body.

Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill and Braden Petry interviewed a chiropractor with Pinnacle Chiropractic Health & Wellness about this very topic:

Chiropractor Christopher Flint said pressure changes put additional stress on our tissues and can trigger pain. Flint said patients vulnerable to these sensitive weather changes feel it. High pressure systems prevent tissues from expanding, pushes more pressure onto the body and prevents soft tissue from expanding. Tissue becomes more contractive.

Low pressure systems put less strain on the body and force tissue to expand and cause swelling. This leads to more arthritic based issues such as hypoxia or lack of oxygen.

Flint says patients notice the change in pressure on their body during the winter, with onset in October.

Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill and Braden Petry identified January and February as the months with the greatest pressure extremes in our region. They analyzed archived data from the Beckley Memorial Airport to derive this conclusion. Summer and early fall sees the least changes in barometric pressure.

As a matter of fact, the highest and lowest barometric pressure readings registered at the Beckley Airport occurred during mid-winter.

Flint said to track the changes in atmospheric pressure and then make notes on how you feel to see if your body aches fluctuate with the change in barometric pressure. This would be a sign of your sensitivity to pressure change and doesn’t necessarily mean you have a certain condition.

In further discussion, Flint indicated most folks who get sore or stiff when the pressure changes, feel it most when the pressure is falling more so than rising. This is why you may hear a friend or relative indicate a “bad storm is on the way.” The decreasing barometric pressure well before the storm adds that extra strain that folks can feel.

Flint also said the ion transfer during a typical thunderstorm can stimulate sensitive neurological conditions.

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