Instances of sudden low back pain are not a consequence of weather conditions such as humidity, air pressure or precipitation, an Australian study conducted by scientists from the University of Sydney has shown.
The research included 993 patients who were seen at primary care clinics in Sydney between October 2011 and November 2012. Scientists examined the weather conditions at the time individuals first noticed back pain and made a comparison with the weather conditions one week and one month before the pain first appeared.
The results showed that there was no relation between the back pain and weather variables such as temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind direction or precipitation. Wind gusts and wind speed slightly increased the likelihood of back pain but the increase was reported to be “not clinically important.”
The research outcome refutes traditional notions that weather can increase the risk of lower back pain, according to Dr Daniel Steffens from the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney. However, additional research is needed to explore the influence of weather on conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and and fibromyalgia, Dr Steffens concluded.
Back pain is considered to be a significant health issue. The World Health Organisation says that almost everyone suffers from low back pain at some point in their lives. This makes it the most common musculoskeletal condition, affecting up to 33% of the global population at any point in time.