A common refrain heard from clients suffering from joint pain issues like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease or other such conditions is – “Well, I know when the weather is about to get colder or rain!” I have heard many times in my office and in SSDI hearings that my client’s pain increases as the temperatures fall or if rain is happening.
Researchers recently set out to determine if the weather really affected joint pain, and they found it did – but not in the way you would expect!
The researchers used Google searches about joint pain across 45 U.S. cities over a number of years to determine if there was any association. What they found was that as the temperature rose from 23 degrees to 86 degrees, searches about knee and hip pain rose steadily! Additionally, rain decreased searches as well. Just the opposite of what was expected.
The scientists speculate that people’s activity level, which typically rises with higher temperatures, is more likely to cause pain that spurs Google searches. They further found that the association between temperature/rain and pain only related to knee and hip pain and not arthritis.
The researchers concluded that this study supported earlier studies that found only vague association/correlation between increased joint pain and lower temperatures/rainy weather.
Quite interesting work – in my opinion.
For more information or to read the study, please see: Local weather is associated with rates of online searches for musculoskeletal pain symptoms.
As a disability and injury attorney in warm southern Louisiana, I often hear my clients complain when a cold front is passing through. I find this interesting and will be passing the information on to my clients with osteoarthritis, arthritis, hip pain, knee pain, and other degenerative disc or degenerative joint conditions.