This study aimed to determine if pain and balance control are related to meteorological modifications in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). One hundred and thirteen patients with knee OA (mean age = 65 ± 9 years old, 78 women) participated in this study. Static posturography was performed, sway area covered and sway path traveled by the center of foot pressure being recorded under six standing postural conditions that combine three visual situations (eyes open, eyes closed, vision altered) with two platform situations (firm and foam supports). Knee pain score was assessed using a visual analog scale. Balance control and pain measurements recorded in the morning were correlated with the meteorological data. Morning and daily values for temperature, precipitation, sunshine, height of rain in 1 h, wind speed, humidity, and atmospheric pressure were obtained from the nearest data collecting weather station. The relationship between postural control, pain, and weather variations were assessed for each patient on a given day with multiple linear regressions. A decrease of postural stability was observed when atmospheric pressure and maximum humidity decreased in the morning (p < 0.05) and when atmospheric pressure decreased within a day (p < 0.05). Patient’s knee pain was more enhanced when it is warmer in the morning (p < 0.05) and when it is wetter and warmer within a day (p < 0.05). The relationship between weather, pain, and postural control can help patients and health professionals to better manage daily activities.
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The authors acknowledge the staff of the rheumatology department for participant recruitment; Ms. Amandine Vallata and the staff of Clinical Epidemiology Center (CEC), especially Prof. Francis Guillemin, Head of the CEC, for project management; and Prof. Michel Boulangé for his advices in medical climatology.
This study was promoted by the Nancy University Hospital, France, with a grant from the Communauté Urbaine du Grand Nancy, France.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Role: transportation costs for patients and emergency trolley.
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