Many people say they can predict the weather by the pain in their joints.

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Can people predict the weather by the pain in their joints?

October 30, 2018 - 4:30 am

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) —  Many say they can predict the weather by the pain in their joints. I've learned not to doubt these people, but there are scientists out there who definitely doubt their ability to predict the weather. 

A review of 65 studies of more than 1 million adults over the age of 65 found that people with joint pain, back pain or those suffering with arthritis were not more likely to visit their doctor or call a physician on a rainy day.

The study found there was no appreciable increase in complaints. This directly contradicts a European study which found that 70 percent of patients with osteoarthritis said that weather affected pain in their joints. 

In case you are wondering why some people think they can predict the weather, one theory is that temperature and humidity can affect how tissues expand and contract, and this can help trigger pain and other symptoms. We also know that the cold can make joints stiffer and more sensitive.