Back Pain? Don't Blame the Weather
(HealthDay News) — Sudden, acute episodes of low back pain are not linked to weather conditions, according to a study published online July 10 in Arthritis Care & Research.
Daniel Steffens, from the University of Sydney, and colleagues recruited 993 consecutive patients with a sudden, acute episode of back pain. Demographic and clinical data were ascertained from patient interviews. Data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology were used to determine weather parameters, with comparisons made between weather exposures in the case window and two control time-windows (same time duration, one week and one month before the case window).
The researchers observed no association between temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wind direction, and precipitation and onset of back pain. Odds of pain onset were increased with higher wind speed (odds ratio, 1.17 [P=0.01] for an increase of 11km/hour) and wind gust (odds ratio, 1.14 [P=0.02] for an increase of 14km/hour).
"Higher wind speed and wind gust speed provided a small increase in risk of back pain, and while this reached statistical significance, the magnitude of the increase was not clinically important," the authors write.