How Temperature & Weather Impact Back Pain

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: November 17, 2014

weather & spineYou have likely heard the old adage that warm weather is good for relieving back and joint pain, and that certain people can predict weather changes based on aches in their joints. But can changes in the weather and temperature actually worsen back pain? In this post we will be investigating how temperature and weather impact back pain. 

Temperature, Weather & the Spine 

Some people claim that they can predict changes in the weather based on joint pain. This phenomenon is known as “weather pain” and it is not fully understood. One theory claims that barometric pressure changes cause the joints to stiffen and cause pain (especially in patients who have pre-existing joint arthritis). Unfortunately this has not been effectively backed up with enough research yet.

Moving to Warmer Climates?

You may also be familiar with the idea that pain (whether in the spine or elsewhere) is intensified by cold weather. There are countless pop culture references to elderly people with arthritis moving to Florida, Arizona, or some other warm climate to alleviate their chronic pain. But does temperature really have any effect on pain?

Again, the research is simply not sufficient enough to provide a definitive answer. Additionally, pain is so subjective it’s difficult to quantify. That being said, many patients do report cold weather worsening their back pain.

If you are experiencing intense back pain in cold temperatures or when the weather changes, talk to your physician about your concerns.

What about you? Does temperature and weather seem to increase or decrease your pain? Leave a comment below – we would love to hear your story.

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