Lower Back Pain Is Not Linked To Weather Conditions, Study


University of Sydney researchers have debunked the myth that lower back pain and certain weather conditions are linked.

Researchers said that sudden acute episodes of low back pain is not related to weather conditions like temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind direction or precipitation. However, higher wind speed or gusts slightly increase the risk of lower back pain, but it is not clinically important.

"Many patients believe that weather impacts their pain symptoms," Dr. Daniel Steffens with the George Institute for Global Health, said in a press release. "However, there are few robust studies investigating weather and pain, specifically research that does not rely on patient recall of the weather."

According to the World Health Organization, lower back pain is the most common form of musculoskeletal conditions that affects nearly everyone at some point in time. About 4- 33 percent suffer from the pain at any given time. People experiencing musculoskeletal (bone, muscle, ligament, tendon, and nerve) pain reported that their symptoms are influenced by the weather.

Previous studies showed that cold or humid weather and changes in weather increase symptoms in patients with chronic pain conditions.

For the study, the researchers observed 993 patients who were recruited at the Sydney primary care clinics between October 2011 and November 2012. They then compared the weather at the time when patients first experienced back pain with the weather conditions of one week and one month prior to the onset of pain.

The researchers did not find any relationship between episodes of lower back pain and weather conditions.

The finding is published in the Journal Arthritis Care & Research.

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