Weathering PAIN

Arthritis Today|March/April 2020

Weathering PAIN
WHY ARTHRITIS SYMPTOMS SEEM TO SHIFT WITH PREVAILING WINDS.
MARY ANNE DUNKIN

You brace for back pain when cold air moves in, and you swear you can tell when a storm is coming by the ache in your knees. But mention that to a health professional, and they may think your head is in the clouds. What gives?

Although many people say weather affects their arthritis, there’s little medical evidence to back up their claims, says William Dixon, Ph.D., director of the Versus Arthritis Centre for Epidemiology at the University of Manchester, England. Many studies have examined the weather-pain connection, but they have failed to reach conclusions, due in part to the small number of participants and short follow-up periods, he says.

Additionally, studies make assumptions about the weather conditions participants are exposed to – for example, by assuming they’re close to home during the study period.

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March/April 2020