Q: Do weather conditions, such as humidity or barometric pressure, effect body parts causing arthritis or other pain?
A: There seems to be no doubt that changes in barometric pressure and humidity along with other weather factors do affect people, but I've never been able to find much, up-to-date information about this topic. It falls under the general topic of "biometeorology," or the study of weather and climate on living things from plants to people.
Hippocrates, the great Greek physician of around 400 BC, wrote about weather effects on people. Humidity could have a direct effect on the skin, with the skin expanding slightly with rising humidity and contracting when the air becomes drier. This could explain why humidity changes are painful to people with scar tissue, especially people who have had limbs amputated. Air pressure changes and temperature changes affect people with rheumatoid arthritis. It's easy to imagine how pressure changes could cause headaches, but I don't know exactly how.
The only two references I have to the topic are: Weather and Health by H.E. Landsberg, published by Doubleday Anchor in 1969, and Human Biometeorology: An Updated, Selected Bibliography - 1995 published by the U.S. National Climatic Data Center in 1985.
We are looking for more information.
(Answered by Jack Williams, USATODAY.com Weather Editor)