Will A Change In Weather Effect Pain Levels In RSD/CRPS Patients?

November 21, 2013 | Posted in , , | 0

RSD/CRPS produces true chronic pain in patients that exceeds all scales of pain measurement due to its effect on their Central Nervous System.

Differences in air pressure because of the weather or changes in altitude can have noticeable effects on the human body, though some people are more sensitive than others, especially individuals afflicted with impaired Central Nervous Systems. It is usually accepted that changes in barometric pressure can adversely affect the pain level in RSD/CRPS patients and frequently occurs when traveling on commerical airlines during both ascent and/or descent.

A common problem occurring from low barometric pressure are headaches by creating a pressure difference between the surrounding atmosphere and the sinuses, which are filled with air, said Dr. Matthew Fink, neurologist in chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. That leads to distended sinuses, especially if there is any congestion or blockage.“The same thing can happen with joints in people who have arthritis,” Dr. Fink said, with the low pressure associated with a coming storm aggravating joint pains in some.

Atmospheric pressure is defined as the force per unit area exerted against a surface by the weight of the air molecules above that surface. In the diagram below, the pressure at point “X” increases as the weight of the air above it increases. The same can be said about decreasing pressure, where the pressure at point “X” decreases if the weight of the air above it also decreases. Think in terms of air molecules…if the number of air molecules above a surface increases, there will be more molecules to exert a force on that surface and the pressure increases. The opposite is also true, where a reduction in the number of air molecules above a surface will result in a decrease in pressure. Atmospheric pressure is measured with an instrument called a barometer, which is why atmospheric pressure is also referred to as barometric pressure.

As an example, let us consider a “unit area” to be 1 square inch. At sea level, on average, the weight of the air above this unit area would weigh 14.7 pounds! The pressure applied by this air on the unit area would be 14.7 pounds per square inch. In space, there is a nearly complete vacuum so the air pressure is zero. On Earth, because there are many miles of air molecules stacked up and exerting pressure due to the force of gravity, the pressure is about 14.7 pounds per square inch at sea level.

These pressure differences have a big effect on the weather as well as on your body, so if you know the current air pressure at your house, as well as the pressure trend, you are able to predict certain things about the weather. However the 14.7 pounds per square inch of pressure change on the surface of RSd/CRPS patients” bodies, that occurs with atmospheric variations, can cause major issues with their Central Nervous System.

Source for additional information Pain Physician Journal

Stanley S. Lefkowitz, PhD
Affiliate Professor
Department of Molecular Medicine
University of South Florida College of Medicine
Tampa, FL

About Belt Law Firm, P.C.

Belt Law Firm, P.C., is an Alabama law firm with extensive national experience in representing RSD/CRPS afflicted persons and handling RSD/CRPS cases with a focus on regional litigation in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Delaware. To learn more, call the firm toll-free at 855-732-0283 or use its online form.


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The personal injury attorneys at Belt Law Firm have successfully represented RSD/CRPS clients in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. These cases involved injuries from automobile accidents (shoulder injury, ankle fracture), product malfunctions (hand crush, wrist fracture), slip and falls (knee contusion, wrist fracture), poorly performed blood draws (antecubital pain), and crush injuries (ankle, Achilles tendon).

Among the settlements we have achieved in RSD/CRPS cases are: $2,500,000 for a (AL) slip and fall case involving a woman who developed RSD after suffering a broken wrist, $1,300,000 for a (FL) case where a woman developed RSD after an improperly performed blood draw, and $800,000 for a (TN) woman who developed RSD after suffering a bruised knee due to a slip and fall in a grocery store. ...Read More

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