How Weather Can Influence Your Pain

How weather can influence your pain - image showing different weather conditionsMany people suffering from chronic pain report that weather conditions worsen their pain. However, researchers have found mixed results. Using a smart phone app that collected local weather data and allowed participants with underlying pain conditions to track their daily pain symptoms including pain severity, mood, activity, and fatigue, researchers studied the association between many different weather conditions and pain severity. The study found that while some patients are sensitive to high ambient temperatures, others are more sensitive to lower temperatures. Overall, about eleven percent of participants were sensitive to temperature changes. Most participants who were sensitive to wind speed and relative humidity were sensitive to higher temperatures while most participants who were sensitive to pressure were sensitive to low temperatures. When analyzing the role of participants’ disease diagnosis on sensitivity to weather, the researchers did not find that these underlying pain conditions can explain specific associations of pain with the weather. However, researchers did notice that participants with inflammatory arthritis are more sensitive to cold than participants with any other underlying conditions.