Bad Weather Doesn’t Cause Joint Pain, Jena Study Says

December 15, 2017

Is the weather to blame for aching joints? A study published in BMJ by Ruth L Newhouse associate professor of health care policy Anupam B. Jena, MD, PhD, says no.

Appointments made between 2008-2012 for 1.6 million Medicare patients age 65 or younger were analyzed to see if there was a correlation between weather and reason for visit. 18% of these appointments took place on rainy days, but these patients did not report increased back or joint pain. A subgroup of patients with rheumatoid arthritis returned similar results.

So why do people blame the weather for their discomfort? Jena believes that it may have something to do with our attitude towards rainy days:

“When it’s raining and you have joint pain you, attribute it to the weather,” he tells the New York Times, “When it’s sunny and you have joint pain, you don’t.”

This study can be viewed on the BMJ website.