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Are people more likely to feel pain on humid days?

Back in 2016, we looked at a study called Cloudy with a Chance of Pain which explored the long-held belief that there was a link between bad weather and an increase in pain.

Three years later, the University of Manchester has published the findings of their study, so we thought we’d revisit the topic.

What makes pain worse?

Very little research has been done into the relationship between pain and the weather.

Folklore has suggested that cold makes pain worse. 

However, this study of 2,500 people seems to suggest something else.

Mobile monitoring

Scientists recruited people from across the UK suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine and neuropathic pain.

They recorded their pain symptoms each day.

At the same time, their phones recorded the weather via a mobile app.

Humidity and pain

The research made some surprising discoveries.

Damp and windy days with low pressure increased the chances of experiencing more pain than normal by 20%.

While cold damp days also made pain worse, there was no association with temperature alone or rainfall.

The long-held belief that there was a connection between rain and pain wasn’t necessarily proven.

However, it did show a clear relationship between pain and the weather.

Creating a ‘pain forecast’

Prof Will Dixon, of the Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis, at the University of Manchester, led the study.

He believes that this relationship between humidity and pain could open the door to new treatments.

It might be possible to develop a ‘pain forecast’ that could help people with chronic pain.

Supporting people with chronic pain

Around 10 million people in the UK have arthritis.

Many more are dealing with life-altering pain every day due to other conditions, like fibromyalgia and chronic migraines.

Research like this can help to understand the external factors that could make their pain worse.

To find out how our occupational health services can help to support staff who might be experiencing issues like these, contact the team at Fusion now.

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