As the leaves begin to change color, and the cooler breezes begin to blow, many of us begin to prepare for the increased pain cold, wet weather can bring to our bodies. Weather triggered pain is a significant source of chronic pain for millions of people.
But how sensitive are you to weather changes? Was your increased pain last week due to the cold front that blew through, or are there other issues contributing to your pain? They are important questions and ones your doctor has probably asked you a number of times. How do you really know the answer?
Now, with Chronic Pain Tracker you can effectively track and analyze your response to changing weather conditions to determine how much of an impact they have on your chronic pain levels. The new Weather Tracker is easily added to your pain diary entries.
Using worldwide weather data provided by Weather Underground, the Weather Tracker records key factors like temperature, humidity levels, barometric pressure, and precipitation. Combined with the existing Pain Level Tracker in CPT you can objectively document your response to the changing weather conditions.
Weather Analysis and Reporting
When you prepare for your next doctor’s appointment, use Chronic Pain Tracker’s Summary Report feature to automatically aggregate and analyze all of your pain diary entries to create a comprehensive summary of your recent pain profile. The new Weather Tracker section of this report provides six new graphical representations of how your pain levels respond to changes in the weather. These graphs include the following studies:
This graph charts the rising and falling of Temperature over time combined with an overlay of your pain levels for the same period. Comparing the two graphs can provide hints about how closely linked your changes in pain level are to overall temperature. This is probably best compared over longer periods of time where you can detect seasonal impact of moving from summer to fall to winter and looking for corresponding increases/decreases in pain levels.
As the rain begins to move in, humidity levels rise and for many, so does their pain level. This graph plots the changes in humidity levels over time and also has the pain level overlay which can be used for comparison.
Many people can feel bad weather moving in. This is believed to be caused by a reduction in the barometric pressure allowing injured or arthritic joints to swell and cause pain. This graph can help identify to what degree your pain is influenced by changing pressure levels. As before, the changes are shown over the reporting time period with the pain level overlay available for comparison.
For each Weather Tracker entry, an overall definition of the current weather conditions is recorded (eg. Sunny, Light Rain, Snowing, etc). By aggregating all of your Weather Tracker entries along with your recorded Pain Levels, CPT is able to provide an analysis of your range of pain for each type of weather condition.
The graph shows a bar for each weather condition which represents the full range or recorded pain levels during that condition, and a marker (green line) which represents the average pain level across all entries for that condition. The conditions are then displayed in order of decreasing average pain level. This means that the conditions where you experienced the most pain (on average) are shown on the left side of the graph.
In a similar manner to the Weather Condition graph, this graph aggregates all of your Weather Tracker and Pain Level Tracker entries and divides them based on Relative Humidity Level ranges. Again, the bars represent the high to low pain levels experienced and the green line shows the average pain level experienced when the humidity was within a certain range.
Finally, the last graph looks at not the exact Pressure Level, but rather what direction the Barometric Pressure level was trending when the diary entry was created. For those people that experience more pain before a storm arrives, you would expect the average pain levels to be higher during times of falling pressure levels. What will your data show?
We encourage you to give the new CPT Weather Tracker a try today. With a single click you can add it to your Diary Entry (from the Tracker selection screen) and it will use the location services within your device to determine your location which is then used to download your local weather conditions. (Note: Your location data is only used for the purposes of gathering this weather data).