Arthritis: Study discovers surprising link between chronic pain and weather
Researchers hope the study will allow people who suffer from chronic pain to plan their activities.
Humid days were the most likely to be painful
People with arthritis are more likely to feel pain on humid, windy days, according to new research.
Scientists from the University of Manchester found sufferers were 20% more likely to be in pain on days that are humid and windy with low atmospheric pressure than on days with average weather.
Funded by the charity Versus Arthritis, the study examined data from 2,658 people, who provided daily data on pain levels on most days for around six months.
The group had a range of different health issues, predominantly arthritis, but also including fibromyalgia, migraine and neuropathic pain.
According to the research, humid days were the most likely to be painful, whereas dry days were the least likely.
Low pressure and higher wind speed were also linked to more painful days, although to a lesser extent than humidity.
Professor Will Dixon, from the University of Manchester, who led the study, said: “Weather has been thought to affect symptoms in patients with arthritis since Hippocrates.Yet, despite much research examining the existence and nature of this relationship, there remains no scientific consensus.
“Given we can forecast the weather, it may be possible to develop a pain forecast knowing the relationship between weather and pain.
“This would allow people who suffer from chronic pain to plan their activities, completing harder tasks on days predicted to have lower levels of pain.”
As part of the study, participants used a dedicated smartphone app to record daily symptoms which were then compared with local weather reports based on the phone’s GPS.
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