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Weather May Influence Pain Tolerance

Many people claim that weather affects their pain from arthritis and other conditions. So far, there has been conflicting scientific evidence for this. A study published in the journal Pain (September 2021) provided new evidence in favor of the connection. The researchers reviewed data from a study of more than 18,000 adults ages 40 and older who live in northern Norway. They were given tests to measure pain tolerance. Pressure pain tolerance was measured by how much pressure they could tolerate on each leg until pain was unbearable. Cold pain tolerance was measured by submerging their hand and wrist in cold water (37°F) until pain was unbearable. Results were analyzed in relation to weather conditions. The results showed a clear seasonal variation in cold pain tolerance. This correlated with meteorological variables, such as temperature and barometric pressure. The mechanism for the connection is still unclear.

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