There’s a longstanding belief that weather affects joint pain. In fact, many patients notice a clear connection; some are so convinced of the link, they believe they can predict the weather better than the TV meteorologists. And perhaps that is true.
It’s common for people to blame increased pain on the weather, according to Robert Newlin Jamison, PhD, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School and a researcher who has studied weather’s effects on chronic pain patients.
“Everyone’s got an aunt who complained that her knee or ankle would flare up. Or Uncle Charlie’s shoulder would give him trouble and he would say, ‘Oh, the weather’s changing,’” he says.
But Jamison has seen patients worry about being ridiculed. “For whatever reason, people with chronic pain are real shy about saying it, because they think other people think they’re nuts,” he says.
But Jamison doesn’t think so. In previous research published in the Journal Pain, Jamison looked for an association between weather and chronic pain in four cities: San Diego, Nashville, Boston, and Worcester, a Massachusetts city with much colder temperatures than Boston, he says.
Among all people interviewed about their chronic pain, “Two-thirds said they were pretty sure that weather seems to affect their pain,” he says. “Most of them reported that they could actually feel the changes even before the weather changed. In other words, they could feel some increased pain the day before the storm comes.”
Cloudy with a Chance of Pain
A recent study, Cloudy with a Chance of Pain, is the idea of Will Dixon, PhD, a scientist at The University of Manchester and a hospital doctor at Salford Royal, where he treats patients with chronic joint pain.
“In almost every clinic, one of my patients will tell me that their joints are better or worse because of the weather,” he says. “And yet researchers have never worked out whether this relationship truly exists.”
According to the study, around three-quarters of people living with chronic joint pain believe their pain is affected by the weather. When the weather is cold, rainy and there is low atmospheric pressure, many report their pain is worse. Others complain the pain is made worse when it is warm and the humidity is high.
Since studies have failed to research consensus in part due to their small sample sizes or durations (commonly fewer than 100 participants or one month or less); this particular study went the extra mile to implement the use of smartphone technology in order to gather necessary data from multiple patients living across the UK.
Cloudy with a Chance of Pain analyzed daily data from 2,658 patients collected over a 15-month period. The analysis demonstrated significant yet modest relationships between pain and relative humidity, pressure and wind speed, with correlations remaining even when accounting for mood and physical activity.
“Once the link is proven, people will have the confidence to plan their activities in accordance with the weather,” Dixon says. “In addition, understanding how weather influences pain will allow medical researchers to explore new pain interventions and treatments.
Defend with NEM
Dietary supplements formulated with Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM®) can help consumers with the reduction of joint pain and stiffness, as well as help protect cartilage against breakdown from exercise or overuse.
The discovery of eggshell membrane as a natural source of combined glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid has prompted the evaluation of this material as a potential treatment for joint pain due to overuse.
Stratum Nutrition has developed methods to efficiently and effectively separate eggshell membrane from eggshells to create a shell-free eggshell membrane. The isolated membrane is then partially hydrolyzed using a proprietary process and dry blended to produce 100% pure NEM®.
Backed by Science
A clinical trial was conducted on our branded eggshell membrane ingredient, NEM®, in which healthy post-menopausal women performed a low-intensity step exercise. A once daily, 500 mg dose of NEM® rapidly reduced joint pain and stiffness resulting from the step exercise and improved recovery throughout a 12-hour post-exercise time period. By looking at a cartilage biomarker, it was also found that NEM® protected the participant’s joint cartilage from breakdown caused by the exercise.
Back-to-back, healthy population studies have evaluated whether NEM supplementation could reduce exercise-induced cartilage turnover and/or alleviate joint pain and stiffness. A previous 2018 study found that a once daily, 500 mg dose of NEM® rapidly reduced discomfort immediately following exercise and improved recovery throughout a 12-hour post-exercise time period. A substantial chondroprotective effect was also demonstrated from NEM® supplementation through a lasting decrease in the cartilage degradation biomarker, CTX-II.
The studies utilized a unique, patented trial design that looks at changes in a cartilage degradation biomarker (CTX-II) in healthy exercising individuals. A reduction in urine or serum CTX-II levels provides substantiation for new joint cartilage protection claims on product labels. The design of these two clinical trials marks the first evidence suggesting the biomarker, CTX-II, can be used to evaluate the chondroprotective efficacy of joint therapeutics in healthy individuals, as well as other populations.
Although there is no full agreement among scientists that weather truly affects joint pain, but with more than a dozen published studies, they would definitely agree that there is no other eggshell membrane ingredient that is fully backed with extensive science like that of NEM.
Interested in seeing the science behind NEM for your next product formulation? Let us know.
By formulating your next product with NEM, you might just cause your consumers, who deal with periodic joint pain, to start relying on their local meteorologist to predict the weather.
The unique ingredients and superior formulations we, here at Stratum Nutrition, use help people achieve a higher quality of life through health ingredients.