Cloudy with a chance of Pain
At last, some evidence to suggest that we’re not all going completely bonkers!
It’s that time of year again when “coincidently” many of my patients start to report and increase in their back pain and general joint discomfort. As they are laying on the treatment couch I am often asked “is there any proof that the weather affects peoples backs and joints”
I said “coincidently” simply because prior to writing this article there are very few scientific studies linking joint pain and the weather” despite approximately 75% of people with long-term pain conditions, such as arthritis, believe weather affects their pain. Many report the pain is made worse by the cold. Others report pain is made worse by the warm. And others report damp or rainy weather aggravates pain.
Health Care Professionals have long been suspicious
As Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Physiotherapists we are aware of these types of comments from our patients and although we cannot change the weather, we can still go about our work to help reduce joint and back pain irrespective of the outside elements.
At last, some evidence to suggest that we’re not all going completely bonkers. New research from University of Manchester reports that you may be up to 20% more likely to suffer weather related pain. The study was carried out in the UK and recruited over 13,000 people with a range of different health issues, but predominantly those with arthritis.
Low Pressure the main culprit
The study concluded that the temperature was not a major contributing factor but as no surprise to me in my osteopathic capacity it was the low pressure that was one of the main culprits and cold, damp days are so often a feature of low pressure systems. Interestingly humidity was also a significant contributing factor with regards to the weather and increased levels of pain. I would also agree with this finding as I have often noticed and also had many of my arthritic patients comment on increased back and joint pains during hot humid summer conditions once again suggesting we are not as mad as we might think we are!
Maybe just maybe when our granny used to say it was going to rain because she could ‘feel it in her bones’ she wasn’t as daft as we might have first thought.
You can read the full study here
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