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Cloudy with a chance of pain? Researchers need you to find out if pain is linked to the weather

Published on 11 March 2016
Source: Arthritis Today

Arthritis Today Spring 2016 Number 169

A man using the Cloudy app on a smartphone

Have you ever noticed the pain you're feeling seems to change depending on whether it’s damp or dry, blazing sunshine or cold and grey outside? With the help of thousands of people with arthritis from all over the UK and using a unique new smartphone app, scientists at the University of Manchester will be able to investigate the age-old theory that there’s a link between the weather and the pain caused by arthritis.

Get involved

The research team are urging you to get involved in this world-first research study by tracking your pain symptoms each day on the Cloudy with a Chance of Pain app. Anyone in the UK with arthritis or chronic pain, aged over 17, can take part. All you’ll need is a smartphone. Go to to find out more.

Using weather data gathered from phone GPS trackers researchers will be looking for any significant patterns or relationships between the pain people are feeling and the weather. It's hoped the results of the year-long study will mean researchers will be able to generate pain forecasts to help people with arthritis to manage their symptoms and lead more active, pain-free lives.

Using technology to answer age-old questions

Dr Will Dixon, director of our centre for epidemiology in Manchester who's leading this Arthritis Research UK-funded study, says: "This question has been around for 2,000 years but it’s only now, by using modern technology, that we have the ability to answer it.

"We’re not just inviting people to submit data, we want your ideas about the association between weather and pain too."

We're funding this exciting study as many of you tell us you believe changes in the weather affect the level of pain you feel. A study which could support this theory with scientific evidence, resulting in improved pain management for people with arthritis, is vitally important, so please sign up today at

Read next: People with arthritis given equal say in research funding decisions

A focus group

A pioneering pilot approach to patient involvement is putting people with arthritis at the heart of decision-making on research funding.

For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.