Influence of meteorological elements on osteoarthritis pain: a review of the literature

Rev Bras Reumatol. 2011 Dec;51(6):622-8.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Despite the frequent assertion that the weather conditions change the intensity of pain in osteoarthritis (OA), this influence is controversial and difficult to measure. This analysis aims to review articles related to the influence of meteorological elements in the OA pain. The literature review was performed with the bibliographical survey databases of the Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (MEDLINE) and the Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences (LILACS), and active search in the list of references of the articles and reviews retrieved. The inclusion criteria for this analysis were prospective studies that evaluated the presence of pain related to some variable of weather in OA patients. The articles were published in Portuguese, English, and Spanish. Of the 247 abstracts analyzed, eight (3.2%) included articles from the electronic database consulted (n = 7), and active case finding (n = 1). Atmospheric pressure was the most frequently variable with some influence on OA pain in five of the included studies, while precipitation was less related to the symptoms of OA; wind was not analyzed. Despite the methodological diversity and biases of the analyzed studies, there is a trend to confirm the influence of weather in OA pain intensity, mainly in more recent publications. Besides checking the effect of meteorological elements in the OA pain, it is necessary to evaluate the interference in daily activities and impairing of the quality of life.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Meteorological Concepts*
  • Osteoarthritis / epidemiology*
  • Pain / epidemiology*