Weather 'does not affect back pain and osteoarthritis symptoms'

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

A new study has offered evidence that refutes the common assumption that weather conditions can affect symptoms of back pain and osteoarthritis.

The George Institute for Global Health research recruited 1,000 people with lower back pain and around 350 with knee osteoarthritis from Australia, comparing weather conditions with pain levels over time.

“Weather plays no part in exacerbating symptoms associated with either back pain or osteoarthritis, according to a new study.“

No association between back pain or osteoarthritis and temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind direction or precipitation was seen. Although higher temperatures slightly increased the chance of lower back pain, it was not to a clinically important degree.

The George Institute noted that these findings support the conclusions of a previous study that received widespread criticism from the public on social media on publication, as many feel adamant that adverse weather conditions cause their symptoms to become worse.

Associate professor and study leader Manuela Ferreira said: "People who suffer from either of these conditions should not focus on the weather, as it does not have an important influence on your symptoms and it is outside your control."

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