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What effect does the weather have on back pain?
Many people blame the weather for their back pain. But researchers have now found that back pain that occurs does not result from certain weather conditions.
The researchers from the George Institute for Global Health in Australia found in an investigation that back pain is not influenced by the weather conditions. The doctors published the results of their study in the Oxford journal "Pain Magazine".
The weather has nothing to do with the pain
Are you one of those people who suffer from back pain on wet days and in particularly hot or cold weather? Do your back pain intensify on rainy days, for example? In such cases, you may be interested in the result of an Australian study: The weather has absolutely nothing to do with your pain.
Why does pain appear stronger in certain weather?
The belief that certain pains are associated with bad weather dates back to Roman times, explains author Professor Chris Maher of the George Institute for Global Health. But why are people so susceptible to being particularly aware of pain on cold and rainy days when the pain is present even in mild and sunny weather? The reason for this could be that people remember events that confirm existing views particularly strongly, the expert adds.
Researchers examine almost 1,350 subjects
For their study, the doctors examined almost 1,000 subjects with pain in the lower back. In addition, about 350 participants with osteoarthritis in the knee were examined. In addition, the researchers compared data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology about the weather at the time when the first patients complained of so-called weather-related pain.
No association between back pain and the weather
The results of the study showed no association between back pain and temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind direction or precipitation. However, it was found that higher temperatures slightly increased the likelihood of back pain. However, the amount of the increase was described as not being clinically relevant, the experts add.
There is no connection between pain and the weather
Another study by the same research team had previously shown a similar result. But most people relentlessly claimed that adverse weather conditions worsened symptoms. For this reason, the doctors decided to conduct a study based on data from new patients with lower back pain and osteoarthritis. However, the results were almost exactly the same. There is absolutely no connection between pain and the weather.
Osteoarthritis and back pain are common
Back pain is common around the world. Up to a third of the world's population suffers from back pain at any time, the doctors explain. In addition, almost ten percent of men and 18 percent of women over the age of 60 have osteoarthritis.
Sufferers should focus on managing and preventing pain
If people suffer from any of these conditions, they should not focus on the weather. The weather has no important influence on the symptoms and it cannot be influenced anyway, says Professor Manuela Ferreira from the George Institute for Global Health. It is much more important to focus on managing and preventing pain. (as)