No Link Found Between Weather And Joint Pain, Studies Show


It’s a common belief the weather impacts back, knee or hip pain, but that’s been debunked by experts. They analysed a dozen studies and found no evidence of a link, except for flare-ups of one particular health complaint.

Weather and Joint Pain: Debunking a Common Belief

There’s a long-standing belief that changes in weather conditions, such as impending rain or temperature shifts, can trigger or exacerbate muscle and joint pain. However, Australian researchers have found no clear pattern linking the two phenomena. This discovery challenges a pervasive myth and highlights the importance of focusing on effective management strategies for musculoskeletal conditions.

The Study

The research team, led by Professor Manuela Ferreira from Sydney Musculoskeletal Health, pooled data from existing international studies on weather and musculoskeletal pain. These studies involved over 15,000 participants reporting more than 28,000 new episodes or worsening of muscle or joint pain. The most commonly reported conditions were knee or hip osteoarthritis, followed by lower back pain and rheumatoid arthritis.

The researchers found that changes in air temperature, humidity, pressure, and rainfall do not seem to increase the risk of symptoms related to knee, hip, or lower back pain. They also found that these weather changes are not associated with new care-seeking events for arthritis.

This is the first study to evaluate data from studies specifically designed to look at the role of transient, modifiable risk factors, such as weather, on muscle and joint symptoms. The findings debunk a common medical myth and issue an important warning to patients not to let the weather impact their treatment options.

The Exception

While the research generally found no link between weather and joint pain, there was one notable exception. High temperatures and low humidity may double the risk of a gout flare-up. Warm weather can lead to dehydration and increased uric acid concentration in people with gout, potentially triggering an episode.


More than a quarter of Australians suffer from a chronic musculoskeletal condition. Despite this, misconceptions about these conditions persist, and treatment options remain limited. Patients often have to navigate and understand their medical condition without proper support.

The research emphasizes the need for patients and clinicians to focus on effective management strategies, such as weight management and exercise, rather than being influenced by the weather.

Professor Ferreira said, “When seeking pain prevention and relief, both patients and clinicians should focus on how to best manage the condition, including weight management and exercises, and not focus on the weather and let it influence treatment.”

The study was published in the journal Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism. The authors declare no competing interests with any content of this review, and no financial support was received for the conduct of this review.

In conclusion, while the weather may affect our mood, it seems that it has little to no impact on our joint health. This finding is a step forward in debunking age-old myths and directing attention towards evidence-based treatment methods.

Source: University of Sydney News

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