Weather conditions don’t influence back pain

Weather conditions don’t influence back pain

Maybe you’ve heard someone blame the weather for a backache.

Many people believe that temperature and other weather conditions can trigger muscle pain. But that notion is full of hot air, according to a study published recently in the journal Arthritis Care and Research.

The research showed no link between backaches and common weather conditions.

The study involved almost 1,000 adults in Sydney, Australia who sought medical treatment for lower back pain.

They volunteered for the study, but weren’t told about its objectives. This helped ensure their beliefs didn’t influence the findings.

Participants discussed their medical histories, including the date of their latest episode of back pain.

For weather data, researchers obtained local reports from three separate dates — the day the participant’s back pain began, and the days that fell one week and one month prior to onset.

Measurements included temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, air pressure, wind direction, wind speed and wind gusts.

After running the data through statistical analysis, the researchers concluded that most of the weather conditions had no connection to the onset of back pain.

There was a slight correlation linking back pain with higher wind speed and wind gusts, but it didn’t appear to be clinically significant.

The scientists admitted that this study doesn’t rule out every possible connection between weather conditions and muscle pain.

For example, weather might trigger aching muscles in colder climates, or in certain groups of people.

But for now, we’ll chalk up this folk wisdom to pure coincidence.

After all, no matter when Uncle Joe’s back started hurting, there was probably some sort of change in the weather not too long before it happened.

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