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Heather’s Weather Lab: Extreme Changes in Weather, Causes More Pain

Eric Lawson - former MSU Left Tackle

Eric Lawson – former MSU Left Tackle

Columbus, MISS (WCBI) – Eric Lawson played left tackle for Mississippi State University for four years. Over time, the sport took a toll on his knees.

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“I dislocated both of them (knees), so my ligaments are stretched out. They took a graft from my hamstring and put it on my kneecap to keep it from popping out of place.” said former MSU left tackle, Eric Lawson.

Now he spends time in physical therapy to help recover from surgery. He’s noticed that when the weather changes, he can feel it in his knees.

“It’s like a stiffness that goes through and it just takes me longer to get started in the morning,” said Lawson.

Kevin Randall is his physical therapist at Mississippi State University. He’s helped students recover from surgery and injury for the last 14 years.

He says research proves that big changes in weather causes more aches and pains.

“There’s kind of two debates. One is the change in barometric pressure,” said MSU Physical Therapist, Kevin Randall

Barometric pressure is the pressure that the atmosphere exerts on our body.

“The thought is, is that when there’s low pressure, a condition like arthritis or something like a freshly repaired knee, those joints are going to tend to swell more cause there’s not as much pressure on the body. So with more swelling we get more pain,” said Randall.

And the second debate, is that cold weather also makes our muscles tend to tighten up.

“It decreases the extensibility. The tissue in your hands and in your feet makes the joints stiff. So on a cold morning when you go outside to do something your hands get Cold and you can’t move your hands really well, it’s because the tissues are stiff,” said Randall.

So call it a myth buster, if you will, a myth that we confirmed to be true but still debatable to the exact reason why and how extreme weather causes our bodies to hurt a little more.

Randall says the best say to combat the aches and pains during what some call this winter, bipolar weather is to be active for about 20-30 minutes per day.