PainRelief.com Interview with:
Erlend Hoftun Farbu, PhD student
Department of Community Medicine
The Arctic University of Norway
PainRelief.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Many report that weather affect their pain condition. Some studies confirm this, others do no. However, these studies have asked “How much pain do you have today?”
We used two tests to assess how much pain a person can tolerate. We then looked at how pain tolerance vary over time and if they are associated with weather.
The results show quite clearly that people can tolerate more pain caused by intense cold temperature in the colder months of the year. There was no such seasonal variation in pain caused by pressure to the leg. On the other hand, we found that both pressure pain tolerance and weather at one day was associated with the next days, but not the next month. When we further linked the weather and pain tolerance, we found that, for example, in some periods a rise in temperature happened at the same time as a rise in pain tolerance. While in other periods, there were no such association. We mean that this is because we adapt to the weather. For example, how we experience 5 °C (41°F) is different in autumn and spring..
Finally, temperature and barometric pressure could predict future values of pressure pain tolerance