New evidence from a recent European study suggests that changes in weather conditions can influence joint pain in those with osteoarthritis.
In the past, this has been treated as an old wives tale but the data we gather from our Carlisle clinic also suggests a correlation with weather patterns.
A recent project multi-centre study, partly funded by Arthritis Research UK, examined whether daily or three-day average weather conditions had a causal relationship with joint pain fluctuations, and whether and changes in weather affect this trend.
Data from 810 patients involved in the population-based European Project on Osteoarthritis was analysed, with subjects being individuals with osteoarthritis in the knee, hand and/or hips.
Joint pain was assessed using two-week pain calendars over 18 months, with daily values for temperature, precipitation, atmospheric pressure, relative humidity, and wind speed also analysed.
According to results published in the Journal of Rheumatology, there were significant associations between joint pain and daily and three-day humidity averages, with a strong interaction effect found between daily average humidity and temperature on joint pain.
Effects of humidity on pain was also stronger in relatively cold weather conditions, but changes in weather variables between two consecutive days were not shown to be significantly associated with reported joint pain.