No Link between Weather and Back Ache – Study

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The weather is not responsible for back pain, said researchers at the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney, Australia.

It was till date believed that the weather (rain, temperature, humidity, wind or barometric pressure) is responsible for the pain that many people complain of. According to the study, published this week in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, there is no connection between the weather and chronic pain conditions, which include severe backache as well.

Speaking about people's perception about back ache and weather, Dr Daniel Steffens, associated with the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney, Australia, said, "Many patients believe that weather impacts their pain symptoms. However, there are few robust studies investigating weather and pain, specifically research that does not rely on patient recall of the weather."

The researchers, who took one long year to study and establish their findings regarding weather and chronic pain, examined 993 patients in Sydney and collected data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. In order to establish their theory, scientists logged weather conditions at the time when patients first complained of back pain and compared them with their condition one week and one month beforehand. Though very high winds and gusts did show an extremely "negligible" increase in lower back pain, overall, it was found that there was link between back pain and weather.

"Our findings refute previously held beliefs that certain common weather conditions increase risk of lower back pain," said Dr Steffens. "Further investigation of the influence of weather parameters on symptoms associated with specific diseases such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis are needed," added Dr Steffens. Previous studies have shown that there is a link between weather and chronic pain conditions, stressing that the "weather affects their musculoskeletal pain."

According to the statistics by the World Health Organisation (WHO), "lower back pain affects 33 per cent of the population at any given time, and nearly everyone will experience it as one point."

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