People who claim they suffer aches and pains in damp weather are wrong, scientists say.
There is no link between the two – instead cold temperatures just makes people more aware of their discomfort, new research confirms.
But this is instantly forgotten when the sun comes out, two new Australian studies suggest.
Almost 1,000 people with lower back pain and around 350 with knee osteoarthritis were assessed in a study.
Weather figures from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology were also sourced for the duration of the study period.
Researchers compared the weather at the time patients first noticed pain with weather conditions one week and one month before the onset.
They found no association between back pain and temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind direction or precipitation.
However, higher temperatures did slightly increase the chances of lower back pain.
But the researchers said the amount of the increase was not clinically important.
The findings reinforce earlier research on back pain and inclement weather from The George Institute which received widespread criticism from the public on social media.
Professor Chris Maher, of The George Institute, Sydney, said: ‘The belief that pain and inclement weather are linked dates back to Roman times.
‘But our research suggests this belief may be based on the fact that people recall events that confirm their pre-existing views.
‘Human beings are very susceptible so it’s easy to see why we might only take note of pain on the days when it’s cold and rainy outside, but discount the days when they have symptoms but the weather is mild and sunny.’
But he and his team conducted a second study after people remained adamant that adverse weather conditions worsened their symptoms.
They used data from new patients with both lower back pain and osteoarthritis.
However, the results were almost exactly the same – proving there is ‘absolutely’ no link between pain and the weather in these conditions.
Back pain affects up to a third of the world’s population at any one time, while almost 10 per cent of men and 18 per cent of women over the age of 60 have osteoarthritis.
The studies were carried out across Australia with average daily temperatures ranging from 5.4C to 32.8C.
Source: Daily Mail