Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Back Pain: Weather is Ruled Out as Culprit in a New Study

There are many old wives’ tales that people tend to take as fact, but more often than not there is little to no proof to them. Usually it takes science and time to debunk these myths.

Back Pain Weather is Ruled Out as Culprit in a New Study

One such inaccurate “fact” is the idea that back pain is caused or worsened by the weather. According to an Australian study of nearly 1,000 cases conducted between 2011 and 2012, changes in weather do not increase the likelihood of someone feeling more pain or discomfort.

What the Study Examined
A total of 993 cases of acute back pain were compared to information gather from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The study looked at a range of parameters of the weather and climate:
  • Barometric pressure
  • Relative humidity
  • Precipitation
  • Temperature
  • Winds and breezes
These parameters were compared to data regarding sudden acute pain reported to primary care clinics. The only parameter that had any correlation to back pain was wind and breezes, but it was only a slight increase in the chance that cases would feel pain.

Comparing Weather Data and Pain Reports
The researchers examined cases that had a range of ailments, although the primary focus was on patients with arthritis. Reported instances of sudden, acute pain in patients’ backs were compared to weather related data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

Based on the comparison of the reports of pain and weather data, the pain was unrelated to the weather, except for wind. While higher wind speeds seemed to increase the odds that patients would suffer increased pain, the increase was not significant.