PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you’ve ever blamed achy joints on rainy weather, Harvard researchers say you’re wrong!
“Really?” said Michael Milone of Philadelphia.
Fellow Philly resident Monica Knowlton added, “I disagree, but ya know, they’re scholars.”
After examining the link between insurance claims from doctor’s visits and daily rainfall, scientists at Harvard Medical School found no correlation between precipitation totals and joint or back pain. But, not everyone agrees with the findings.
“Yes, over the years, I can definitely tell you there’s something to it,” said Dr. Rob Danoff, a family physician with Aria Health Systems.
He takes issue with Harvard’s study since most people don’t go to the doctor for painful joints and sore backs.
“People who have had this for a long time know what it’s from. They’re not going to come in for that,” Danoff says.
And while there’s little scientific proof, Danoff points to barometric pressure as the lead cause.
“When barometric pressure drops, usually from rain, snow, or sleet… there’s a drop in pressure and that’s when fluid in the joints expand and they feel more pain,” said Danoff.
“Great to know I’m not crazy,” said Mark Barksdale of Philly.
The researchers also pointed out that the brain is good at finding patterns that are often self-fulfilling.
So, if you expect your knee to hurt when it rains and it doesn’t, you’re more likely to forget. But, if it hurts and you blame the rain, you’re more likely to remember.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the study.