Scientists find out how weather affects a person’s ability to tolerate pain

In a new study, scientists have confirmed that weather affects pain tolerance. The results of an experiment by biologists in Norway confirmed that weather has a causal, non-linear and dynamic effect on a person’s ability to tolerate different types of pain.

Scientists from the Arctic University of Norway, Oslo University Hospital and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have sought to experimentally test the hypothesis that different climatic conditions affect a person’s ability to tolerate pain. It turned out that the weather really affects pain tolerance.

The experts examined data from a previous study of residents of the city of Tromsø in Norway. There are unstable climatic conditions with a lot of rainfall, but the mountains protect the area from arctic winds. About 19 thousand residents of Tromsø underwent a medical examination and two tests for a year and a half: for tolerance to pain when the lower leg is squeezed with special cuffs and for its tolerance due to cold. Doctors tested how people cope with pain from immersing their hands in cold water.

The results were analyzed taking into account the weather data during this period: temperature, atmospheric pressure, precipitation, relative humidity and wind speed. After examining the link between pain tolerance and meteorological factors, the scientists found a clear link.

So, people cope better with pain, for example, participants kept their hand in ice water longer in the cold season, demonstrating adaptation to it. Air temperature and atmospheric pressure influenced the squeeze test results most of all.

Scientists have suggested that the cause of pain tolerance lies in the basic mechanisms of the human body. For example, atmospheric phenomena, as well as air temperature and pressure, affect the areas of the brain that are involved in pain treatment. Scientists also suggest that the weather changes the mental state of people and is reflected in how much pain a person can endure.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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