Smartphone research finds link between weather and chronic pain

Washington D.C. [USA], Sept. 8 : A smartphone research has found out the link between weather conditions, specifically rain and lack of sunshine, and chronic pain in bodies.

Daily data input from over 9000 UK participants in The University of Manchester-led 'Cloudy with a Chance of Pain' project has been viewed at the halfway stage of the 18-month study; these early results suggested a correlation between the number of sunny days and rainfall levels and changes in pain levels.

Members of the public who have long-term pain recorded their daily pain symptoms on a special app. The app also independently captures hourly weather conditions using the smartphone GPS, thus joining pain data with real-time local weather events.

At the halfway stage the research team reviewed the interim data, looking specifically at data sets collected from participants in three cities - Leeds, Norwich and London.

Across all three cities, as the number of sunny days increased from February to April, the amount of time spent in severe pain decreased.

However, the amount of time spent in severe pain increased again in June when the weather was wetter and there were fewer hours of sunshine.

Lead researcher Will Dixon said that the early results were encouraging but urged more people to take part in the study in order to allow robust conclusions at the end of the study.

"Once the link is proven, people will have the confidence to plan their activities in accordance with the weather.

In addition, understanding how weather influences pain will allow medical researchers to explore new pain interventions and treatments," he said.

"To work out the details of how weather influences pain, we need as many people as possible to participate in the study and track their symptoms on their smartphone," continued Dixon, adding, "If you are affected by chronic pain, this is your chance to take do something personally - and easily - to lead to a breakthrough in our understanding of pain." The study has been published in British Science Festival.

Source: ANI