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BAROMETRIC PRESSURE AND ITS EFFECT ON INJURIES:
A detailed discussion of spinal and whole body neurology far exceeds the scope of this WEB site. However, I chose to discuss a very interesting aspect of neurology not widely appreciated; that of the effects of Barometric Pressure on the body. Boston Spine Clinics keep the following data in mind during treatment, reports of findings and report writing.
Years ago, an acupuncturist named Chan Gunn, MD (www.changunn.com) did some spectacular research on the effects of "supersensitivity" on the human body (Gunn, C; Prespondylosis and Some Pain Syndromes Following Denervation Supersensitivity, SPINE, Vol. 5 (2), 3/1980). Much of this was based on early research by Cannon (Cannon WB, Rosenbleuth A; The Supersensitivity of Denervated Structures, New York, The Macmillan Co., 1949, pp 1-22, 185). In a speech given at the International Conference on Acupuncture and Chronic Pain, September 27-Oct. 1, 1983, in New York (transcript referred to here), Dr. Gunn came right out and discussed the fact that after injury, our body undergoes "Cannon's Law of Denervation."This means that the local nerves at the injury site are themselves injured and "supersensitive" after the fact; up to 1000 times more sensitive than they used to be. With this supersensitivity, it explains why people feel such tenderness after the fact and why people with musculo-skeletal pain can predict barometric weather changes. This in turn, helps explain why injured people, especially those who have been repeatedly injured/ and or have had repeated surgeries in the same place , have seemingly odd flare-ups of pain for no apparent reason. More often than not, the person is actually "feeling" the low barometric pressure front moving in. But how exactly? Well, with less atmospheric pressure pushing in on us from the outside, microscopically the pressure inside our bodies pushes out more. It is minute, but enough to cause pain. We've all seen athletes who have had multiple injuries to the same area and subsequent surgery -talk about how that knee, shoulder, arm, whatever - starts "acting up" when a storm front is coming. Remember, barometric pressure starts changing long before you see a dark cloud or the rain. So when you or someone you know starts having that old ache again when a storm is coming, this is why.
Additionally, many of us practitioners have patients who are making fairly good progress in a treatment regime often experience unexplained set backs with the patient complaining about pain having suddenly occurred. More often than not, it is the barometric pressure dropping. Practitioners take note: please document this in the patient file.
Sato J, Morimae H, et. al., "Lowering Barometric Pressure Aggravates Mechanical Allodynia and Hyperalgesia in a Rat Model of Neuropathic Pain," Neuroscience Letters, Vol 266 (1) April, 1999.
Sato J, Takanari K, et.al., "Effects of Lowering Barometric Pressure on Guarding Behavior, Heart Rate and Blood Pressure in a Rat Model of Neuropathic Pain," Neuroscience Letters, Col. 299 (1-2), Feb. 2001.
Kirn TF, "Study find knee arthritis pain does predict changes in barometric pressure, temperature," Int. Med. New, May, 2005.