About 2,500 years ago, the Greeks discovered our joints started aching whenever there was bad weather. This myth continued being propagated for thousands of years, but it turns out it actually doesn’t have any scientific basis. A team of Harvard researchers studied a huge number of cases of joint ache and discovered that it wasn’t rain that caused them.
Bad weather and joint pains have been linked since antiquity
Researchers took a look at over 1.5 million patients who paid 11 million visits to the doctor’s office over a period of four years, between 2008 and 2012. They selected those cases of patients with joint pains, and then looked for an increase in the complaints during rainy weather. The results showed no correlation whatsoever between the two phenomena.
This is probably the largest study of its kind, with a huge number of participants and cases. Therefore, if rainfall influenced joint pain, researchers would definitely have noticed the correlation. Usually, it’s difficult to prove such a negative result, but the huge sample of data made it easier in this case.
Your joints don’t ache because it’s raining outside
The idea that aching joints indicated the approach of bad weather was first propagated in Ancient Greece. Hippocrates said we should study seasons and how they change the weather, and then identify their impact on our health. Since then, this conviction turned into a myth, supported by some ambiguous studies with mixed results.
These studies claimed that, once the sunny weather started, people with painful joints started feeling better. Then, as the rainy season started, their condition worsened again. The event which was blamed for this phenomenon was the change in pressure, which caused the shift of the fluid present in joints.
However, people usually find explanations even when they’re not there. The study showed an average of 6.35 percent cases of joint pains on rainy days, while the number of cases in dry days was of 6.39 percent. Next time when your joints ache, do not blame the weather. The study was published in BMJ.
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