A recent pair of studies from The George Institute for Global Health confirms that the weather does not affect aches and pains associated with back pain or osteoarthritis.
While many believe that the onset of back pain and arthritis aches coincide with fluctuations in weather, the results of these studies showed there was no relationship between back pain and temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind direction, or precipitation. While higher temperature did show a slight increase in the likelihood of experiencing lower back pain, it was not significant enough to signify an association.
To obtain this information, researchers gathered nearly 1,000 volunteers with lower back pain and approximately 350 with osteoarthritis in the knee. They then compared weather conditions at the time patients originally noticed pain to weather conditions one week and one month before the start of the pain. No relationship was discovered between back pain or knee osteoarthritis pain and weather.
A previous study conducted by The George Institute for Global Health explored the possibility of there being a connection between these ailments and weather conditions, but had similar results. This first attempt was met with criticism from the public, so researchers re-evaluated and tried again.
The back pain study was led by professor Chris Maher, who noted “People were adamant that adverse weather conditions worsened their symptoms so we decided to go ahead with a new study based on data from new patients with lower back pain and osteoarthritis. The results though were almost exactly the same—there is absolutely no link between pain and the weather in these conditions.”
As weather has been proven to have no impact on back pain or osteoarthritis, the authors assert that it is important to address the real cause of your symptoms rather than allow the weather to serve as an excuse for pain.