Examined: Can Wet Weather Cause Joint Pain?

Can the weather cause pain?
When it gets cold and damp, sensitive people hurt their joints. This is a popular saying. New studies question this idea.

The behavior changes
American researchers from the University of Washington examined weather data from 2011 in 2015 from 45 cities. The result: Not the weather, but our behavior during the weather influences pain in the joints.

More research in the rain?
For example, searches for joint pain increased with increasing temperatures, and decreased again at over 20 degrees. It was similar with rainfall.

No connection between temperature and pain
The researchers found no direct connection between outside temperature and pain. However, they suspect that when the weather is good, people are more active, overwork and injure themselves, and search for information online.

Is the study serious?
Marcus Schiltenwolf from Heidelberg University Hospital criticizes that the study only shows correlations, but no connection between cause and effect. To do this, other factors would have to be taken into account, such as the level of fitness and the age of those who searched for information online.

Cold and moisture triggers diseases?
Some illnesses seem to be related to the weather from the choice of words, like the common cold. But a cold does not result from wet and cold weather, but is a virus infection.

Cold does not come from cold
However, these viruses can penetrate more easily if the immune system is weakened because we do not dress appropriately and the organism has to work to keep the body going. But we "catch a cold" in summer as well as in autumn or winter.

Joint pain consequence of lack of exercise?

According to him, movement only leads to joint pain if the people affected do not otherwise exercise their muscles sufficiently. Only a tenth of the people move enough. A study should take that into account.

No context?
Schiltenwolf also sees no general connection between weather and joint pain. Some people would not tolerate moisture, others would not tolerate heat. Weather sensitivity is individual and cannot be generalized. Overall, people would have an enormous ability to adapt to the surrounding climate.

Lack of training
It is undisputed that lack of exercise and being overweight cause joint pain, often in combination. On the other hand, in addition to a balanced diet, exercise and sport helps. However, this should be done moderately in the case of severe overweight: long-distance running stresses the joints in obese people and causes pain due to the strain. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

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