Predicting the weather: 'Cloudy with a chance of pain' - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Predicting the weather: 'Cloudy with a chance of pain'

source: NBC News source: NBC News

“It’s going to rain…I can FEEL it”. Does that sound familiar? You may dismiss it as an old wives' tale, but researchers in the U.K. are trying to find out if there’s a correlation between weather conditions and chronic pain.

More than 9,000 people in the study were told to track their pain each day with an app on their smartphone (of course!). The project is called "Cloudy with a Chance of Pain." The app captures and records weather data where each person is located based on the phone’s GPS. Each participant then records their level of daily chronic pain. While no specific conclusive results have been published just yet, there have been some interesting findings.

When more days of sunshine were seen across London, Leeds, and Norwich earlier this year, the amount of time that the participants felt severe pain decreased. In June, more clouds, rain, and overall wetter weather increased. As you’d expect, the level of pain across the board increased along with it.

Many more studies need to be done, and more people are needed for them. Since this is being done in the U.K., researchers are looking for people there. But the results that may come from this will have effects all over the world.

Will Dixon, professor of digital epidemiology at the University of Manchester's School of Biological Sciences and the scientific lead for the project, says “…understanding how weather influences pain will allow medical researchers to explore new pain interventions and treatments."

There are some variables in this study as well—a reason why more research needs to be done. For one thing, mood can effect chronic pain along with the weather. Also, it still remains to be seen how taking certain medications may lead to more or less pain. Further studies will need to be done to try to separate those variables.

Let’s hear from you: do you tend to feel pain right before rain or severe weather hits? Let me know:

Meteorologist Andrew Kozak

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

(Note: The story on this study was originally written by CNN Meteorologist Judson Jones)

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