People with some forms of rheumatism say that weather conditions can affect their disease symptoms, but new research suggests this is not the case. The study focused on women with the chronic rheumatic condition fibromyalgia, which is characterised by pain and stiffness in the muscles, joints and tendons. It is not clear what exactly causes the condition, but many patients often report that certain weather changes influence their pain.
Now a study led by Dr Egil Fors from Ostmarka Hospital in Trondheim suggests the link is just only a illusory mental image. The team found that weather played no role in levels of patients' pain - neither causing the condition, nor worsening symptoms. The researchers found that women with fibromyalgia for less than 10 years were more sensitive to weather changes than women who had suffered from the condition for longer.
Researchers said that the tendency of some fibromyalgia patients to blame the weather might simply be because it is such a prominent feature of daily life or, they may attribute changes in pain to the weather because an association between the two is widely believed.