Saturday, November 29, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Study: Most weather factors do not affect lower back pain

Have you ever noticed that your lower back pain flares up during a rainstorm? Or when the temperature suddenly drops? Or when there's a change in humidity or air pressure?

Well, then you've been noticing wrong, according to a recent study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

Researchers from the Sydney Medical School in Australia found no link between changes in temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wind direction or precipitation, and an increase in lower back pain episodes.

Oddly, the researchers found that higher wind speeds and wind gust speed were linked to a small increase in back pain. The correlation reached statistical significance, but the authors say it was not clinically important, and they did not further explain the finding.

The researchers gathered information from 993 people who showed up at their primary care doctor's office hoping to get treatment for a sudden onset of intense lower back pain.

Though they found no relationship between weather and lower back pain, the researchers are not ruling out that weather can affect pain. For example, they note that a past study found higher temperatures and lower atmospheric pressures can lead to more headaches. "Our findings refute previously held beliefs that certain common weather conditions increase risk of lower back pain," said lead author Daniel Steffens. - Los Angeles Times

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