Some people with joint and muscle pain say that changes in the weather trigger their symptoms, but a new study contradicts this belief, at least for those with low back pain.
Researchers analyzed information from nearly 1,000 people in Sydney, Australia, who went to the doctor within a few days of experiencing sudden (acute) lower back pain.
The researchers then compared weather conditions at the time people experienced back pain to weather conditions one week and one month prior, when the participants were pain-free. The researchers obtained weather data for three regions in Sydney from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. [5 Surprising Facts About Pain]
There was no link between episodes of back pain and the temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wind direction and precipitation in the city, the researchers said.
Higher wind speeds and wind gusts did slightly increase the chances of experiencing back pain, but this effect was so small that it likely would not have a meaningful impact on patient's lives, the researchers said.
“Our findings refute previously held beliefs that certain common weather conditions increase risk of lower back pain,” study researcher Daniel Steffens, of the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney, said in a statement.
Most previous studies looking at the link between weather conditions and back pain have not been rigorous in their methods, for example, they have relied upon participants' memory of the weather instead of using objective measures, Steffens said.
The researchers noted that Sydney has a temperate climate, and the findings may not apply to regions with more extreme weather. More research is also needed to see if weather conditions affect symptoms of other diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, Steffens said.
The study is published July 10 in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.
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The warmth spanning the Korean Peninsula and Japan this weekend will get whisked away by a storm which will bring the risk of flooding downpours early next week.
The resurgence of heat will come back with a vengeance this week as the highest readings so far this year will be rivaled.
Whilst Thursday was the warmest day so far this year across the United Kingdom, the mild air will hang on for this weekend's London Marathon and St. George's Day festivities.
Clear skies will allow many across Europe to view the peak of the annual Lyrid meteor shower on Saturday night.
The threat for heavy and locally strong thunderstorms will slowly shift eastward across the southern United States into Monday.
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Even though it's only spring and cool out side, the sun is strong enough to cause a nasty sunburn.
The same storm delivering rain to fire-ravaged areas of the southern Plains will soak the southeastern United States later this weekend into early next week.