Rain may make pain worse

 People have long complained the weather makes their chronic aches and pains play up, with some even suggesting they can tell when it’s about to rain as a result. And now the preliminary results of a major new study suggest they might have been onto something.

Researchers enlisted more than 9,000 people who suffer from chronic pain, such as arthritis, back problems and migraines, getting them to log their symptoms on a daily basis using a smartphone app. The app also monitors the weather conditions every hour, enabling the scientists to match the weather to how much pain the people are feeling.

Examining a group of 100 participants in three different cities — Leeds, Norwich and London — the researchers found that as the number of sunny days increased from February to June, the amount of time people experienced severe pain fell.  But when there was a period of wet weather in June and fewer hours of sunlight, the level of pain increased once again.

The 18-month project, called Cloudy with a Chance of Pain, is currently at its halfway stage, but the researchers decided to report their preliminary findings at the British Science Festival.

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