For ages, people associated joint pain or back pain with bad weather. As it turns out, raining might have nothing to do with the discomfort some people experience at the sight of cloudy skies.
A team of Australian researchers published not one, but two different papers on bad weather’s connection to joint pain. Both times the researchers came out empty-handed, saying no substantial evidence that links pain of any kind to bad weather has been found.
Both in 2014, as well as in December 2016, the team of researchers from The George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney in Australia compared weather data pulled from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology against people’s reports of joint pain or back pain.
The first study focused on establishing a link between back pain and bad weather, while the second was looking at the effects of atmospheric pressure on individuals suffering from knee arthritis.
The latest study conducted in December last year shows no connection between 1000 pain reports received from adults suffering from back pain and bad weather. Over the course of four years, the team of researchers pulled medical records from health facilities across Sydney where doctors came across back pain most often. Then, the researchers compared the medical files of each patient against weather reports dating one month before the patients started to experience distress. They concluded that neither precipitation levels, bad weather, air pressure, humidity, nor wind speed were responsible for their joint pain.
The other study was performed on 350 individuals with knee arthritis. For the entire duration of the survey, the subjects were asked to grade their pain levels on a scale from 1 to 10. If the pain levels increased by two levels, the researchers considered this a pain flare-up. However, there were no significant changes in weather when the patients reported a pain flare-up.
Even though the researchers were not able to link joint pain to inclement weather in any way, they discovered something else. It is possible that because of their preconceived notions, the patients notice the pain only when the weather starts to take a turn for the worse, dismissing any level of distress on sunny days.
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