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Does bad weather really make joint pain worse?

Prima (UK) logo Prima (UK) 2017-08-11 Francesca Rice

Does bad weather really make arthritis worse? © JodiJacobson / Getty Does bad weather really make arthritis worse? The long-held belief that bad weather makes joint pain worse may actually be a myth, according to a new study.

In fact, if you often find that you experience more aches and pains when the weather is nicer outside, then you're not alone: researchers discovered that people reported more knee and hip pain during warmer spells.

This may suggest that our behaviour is actually responsible, as we engage in more activity when the weather is favourable, the Express reports.

Researchers from Washington University in the US examined Google searches for arthritis over a period of five years in 45 major cities, and saw no discernible link to the elements. The team based their research on the theory that internet searches are now most people's first recourse when experiencing pain.

'You hear people with arthritis say they can tell when the weather is changing,' said researcher Professor Scott Telfer, writing in the journal PLOS ONE.

'But with past studies there's only been vague associations, nothing very concrete, and our findings align with those.'

In fact, the team found that searchers about knee and hip pain increased as the weather got warmer (until it became too hot).

Meanwhile, there were fewer searchers on rainy days – the opposite of what you might expect.

The team concluded that 'changes in physical activity levels' might therefore be responsible, rather than the weather itself.

'We haven't found any direct mechanism that links ambient temperature with pain,' Telfer said.

He added: 'What we think is a much more likely explanation is the fact people are more active on nice days – so more prone to have overuse and acute injuries from that and to search online for relevant information.

'That's our hypothesis for what we'll explore next,' he concluded.

Related: Horseflies Are Causing Chaos Across UK, Here’s How To Treat Their Bites (provided by HuffPost UK)

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