Weather not to blame for aches and pains: says new research

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Weather not to blame for aches and pains: says new research

New research from George Institute for global health has revealed that cold, rainy weather has no impact on symptoms associated with either back pain or osteoarthritis. This study showed that changes in temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind and rain does not affect conditions like back pain, osteoarthritis and other aches due to range of medical conditions. People with arthritis or back pain often claim to have impact of weather on their existing medical conditions.

From Roman times, it is believed that pain and inclement weather are associated with each other.  However, according to Maher C, et al. this belief may be because people recall events that confirm their pre-existing views. Human beings are very susceptible so it’s easy to see why we might only take note of pain on the days when it’s cold and rainy outside, but exempt the days when they have symptoms, but the weather is mild and sunny.

Maher and his colleagues conducted two studies involving nearly 1,000 Australians with back pain and 345 people with osteoarthritis. Using weather data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, researchers compared the weather at the time patients first noticed pain with weather conditions one week and one month before the onset of pain as a control measure. The studies were carried out across Australia with average daily temperatures ranged from 5.4 degrees Celsius to 32.8 degrees.

Results did not show any links between back pain and temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind direction or precipitation. Moreover, higher temperatures were found to slightly increase the chances of lower back pain, but the rise was not significant.

Associate Professor Manuela Ferreira, who led the osteoarthritis research at The George Institute, said, “People who suffer from either of these conditions should not focus on the weather as it does not have an important influence on your symptoms and it is outside your control. What’s more important is to focus on things you can control regarding managing pain and prevention”.


George Institute for Global Health News

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The weather’s not to blame for your aches and pains


Chris Maher, Manuela Ferreira

Exploratory, Back Pain, Osteoarthritis, Spine, Joints
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