Weather Actually May Not Affect Back Pain

Weather Actually May Not Affect Back Pain

According to an Australian study published in Arthritis Care & Research, weather factors like temperature, humidity, air pressure and/or precipitation do not increase the risk of a low-back pain episode. Higher wind speeds also produced minimal effects. Arthritis and pain patients having the ability to anticipate impending pain episodes and/or symptoms from weather has been a popular theory for decades. Regardless, this recent study argues weather may not impact pain symptoms.

The pain management specialists at American Spine understand further investigations need to be conducted before conclusive remarks can be made. Regardless, the results from the study have provided invaluable information that could potentially lead to advances in medicine and/or therapies for these patients.

Researchers at primary care clinics in Sydney, Australia recruited patients that reported having consistent sudden, acute back pain episodes. The investigators also interviewed the 993 patient recruits for pain onset, demographic and clinical data. The study was conducted from October 2011 to November 2012 with the help of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The bureau provided data on temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wind speeds, directions and gusts, and precipitation during the study period.

While comparing weather parameters during care and control time windows, investigators found there was no association between weather factors and onset back pain in patients. Researchers came to this final conclusion:

 “Weather parameters that have been linked to musculoskeletal pain such as temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, and precipitation do not increase the risk of a low back pain episode. Higher wind speed and wind gust speed provided a small increase in risk of back pain, and although this reached statistical significance, the magnitude of the increase was not clinically important.”

As previously stated, there are additional tests that need to be done before coming to a final conclusion. The article stated important data like time spent outside, housing temperatures and daily activities were not taken into account. Moreover, certain parts of Australia have more extreme weather conditions than others, therefore assumptions and/or generalizations should not be made from the study.

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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