Does weather affect daily pain intensity levels in patients with acute low back pain? A prospective cohort study

Vicky Duong, Chris G. Maher, Daniel Steffens*, Qiang Li, Mark J. Hancock

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of various weather parameters on pain intensity levels in patients with acute low back pain (LBP). We performed a secondary analysis using data from the PACE trial that evaluated paracetamol (acetaminophen) in the treatment of acute LBP. Data on 1604 patients with LBP were included in the analysis. Weather parameters (precipitation, temperature, relative humidity, and air pressure) were obtained from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Pain intensity was assessed daily on a 0–10 numerical pain rating scale over a 2-week period. A generalised estimating equation analysis was used to examine the relationship between daily pain intensity levels and weather in three different time epochs (current day, previous day, and change between previous and current days). A second model was adjusted for important back pain prognostic factors. The analysis did not show any association between weather and pain intensity levels in patients with acute LBP in each of the time epochs. There was no change in strength of association after the model was adjusted for prognostic factors. Contrary to common belief, the results demonstrated that the weather parameters of precipitation, temperature, relative humidity, and air pressure did not influence the intensity of pain reported by patients during an episode of acute LBP.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)679-684
    Number of pages6
    JournalRheumatology International
    Volume36
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

    Keywords

    • Cohort study
    • Low back pain
    • Pain intensity
    • Weather

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