Arthritic pain may be correlated to climatic conditions

On comparison of a data study of patients suffering from knee arthritis among U.S. adults, researchers found that the pain shoot-ups were associated with changes in weather and barometric pressure.

The findings that were published in the American Journal of Medicine, revealed that while many arthritis sufferers felt that changes in weather, had something to do with the intensity of their pain, some say that their pain increases during cold weather or rain.

However, there has not been any definite scientific evidence for the condition. To solve this problem, researchers of the Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston used data from an earlier study that investigated glucosamine for knee arthritis.

Two hundred adults were studied based on their pain levels at different points of time, over a three month period. Researchers compared the data with the meteorological information from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration on the same days in the patients local area.

On the whole, they found that the symptoms of pain in patients worsened when the temperature dropped, or in other words, when the barometric pressure increased.

Dr. Tim McAlindon and his colleagues reported that “Our data confirms the general assertions by people with Osteoarthritis that weather conditions do influence their pain.”

The researchers were of the opinion that even the general notion that arthritic patients would fare better in warm and sunny climatic conditions all through the year could be “partly correct”.

McAlindon’s team suggests that it is not fully clear as to why the temperature or barometric pressure would influence the arthritic pain. Cold temperatures could possibly affect joint range of motion, or the flow of synovial fluid which lubricates the joints.

Barometric Pressure is the weight of the surrounding air, which fluctuates with changes in weather or altitude. Atmospheric pressure plays a role in the stabilization of the joints in the body.