Back pain is a common condition affecting most people at some point in their lives. Many people who suffer chronic pain say the condition gets worse in cold and rainy weather. However, a new study says that weather has nothing to do with low back pain. The researchers at the University of Sydney, Australia found that pain in the lower back cannot be linked to changes in humidity, air pressure, or temperature.
The researchers specifically wanted to investigate whether back pain could be associated with cold and humid weather as this subject had not been sufficiently investigated. They analyzed data on nearly 1,000 people seen in primary clinics in Sydney within a few days of experiencing sudden lower back ache between October 2011 and November 2012. Data related to weather during the period was obtained from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
The researchers compared the weather conditions at the time patients first reported back aches with weather conditions one week and one month prior to the onset of pain. They could not find any direct link between weather conditions like humidity, air pressure, and temperature and lower back aches. However, it was found that higher wind speeds and wind gusts slightly increase the risks of the pain, but the effect was weak and not clinically important.
The findings of the survey counter the widely held belief that weather conditions increase the risk of low back pain. However, the researchers stress that further study is required to check if weather conditions on symptoms related to conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis.