Weather can influence joint pain
Changes in weather conditions can affect the extent of joint pain in people with osteoarthritis, according to a new study.
Looking at data from 810 patients spread across 6 European countries, the study investigated any connections between weather and osteoarthritis in the knee, hand and/or hips.
Part funded by Arthritis Research UK, it looked at whether daily or 3-day average weather conditions could cause fluctuations in joint pain levels.
Patients were asked to rate their joint pain using 2-week calendars over an 18 month period. Temperature, precipitation, atmospheric pressure, relative humidity and wind speed were also analysed.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Rheumatology, found a connection between increased joint pain during daily and 3-day spells of humid weather.
The effect was stronger when the weather was relatively cold. But changes in weather over 2 days did not seem to affect joint pain.
The researchers say the results of the study could help those with osteoarthritis, as well as physicians and therapists, to manage any fluctuations in pain levels.
Contentious issue needs more study
Arthritis Research UK says that, despite the study suggesting a relationship between weather and joint pain, it still remains a contentious issue.
The charity is now funding a further study using an app to assess the real-time relationship between weather and joint pain.