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Louise Cook

2020-05-20 16:10

New analysis by University of Manchester researchers both confirms and expands on initial findings from the Cloudy with a Chance of Pain study

Let's have a look at the findings from the Weather Patterns Associated with Pain in Chronic-Pain Sufferers paper in more detail.

We can see from the infographic below that on the most painful days, the jet stream was aimed right at the UK, with below-normal (or low) pressure over the UK. The humidity and precipitation rate were both above normal, and winds were stronger. In contrast, on the least painful days, the jet stream tended to blow north of the UK, bringing above-normal (or high) pressure to the UK. The humidity and precipitation rate were both below normal, and winds were weaker.

This research confirms and expands on the previous research from this team, funded by Versus Arthritis. Because this study is the largest in terms of both duration and number of participants, it allows greater confidence in the results. Although not everyone believes in the link between weather and pain, the results of this project should give comfort and support to those who have claimed that the weather affects their pain, but have been dismissed. Finally, this research also begins to shed light on the environmental conditions that modulate pain, insight that might be explored further for improving the treatment, management, and forecasting of pain.


*The researchers ranked all days in the study by the percentage of people responding who recorded a pain event. The most painful days had 23% of participants reporting an increase in pain, and the least painful days had 10% of participants reporting an increase in pain. The researchers took the 45 days at the top of the ranking (the top 10% of all study days) and averaged the weather conditions on those days to determine the weather patterns present when the most number of people were in pain. They did the same for the 45 days where the least number of people reported pain (bottom 10%).

Read the full paper here.

To find out more about the project watch this video


We are pleased to announce that Prof Schultz has now been awarded the 2020 European Meteorological Society S. W. Tromp Foundation award for ÔÇťOutstanding Achievement in Biometeorology" for this research paper.

Prof David Schultz

Prof David Schultz