4 Tips for Managing Chronic Pain in Warm Weather
Chronic pain often becomes increasingly distracting in warmer months, since this is a time when many people have time to be active while in environments that are hotter and more humid. However, just because you are one of the estimated 100 million chronic pain sufferers in the U.S. doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your summer. Here are four ways to manage your chronic discomfort during the more active months of summer.
1. Take Advantage of the Therapeutic Benefits of Water
Many chronic pain conditions, including many spine-related issues and some widespread ones like fibromyalgia, make it difficult to perform land-based activities. So, accept pool party invitations or throw some of your own! The extra time spent in the water also allows you to stay cool and stimulate your core muscle groups in a less stressful way.
2. Avoid Extreme Heat
Nerve-related sources of chronic pain are often aggravated by extreme heat. Temperature and barometric pressure changes can also worsen some forms of chronic joint pain. Manage chronic pain affected by heat by planning outdoor activities either early in the morning or in the evening when it’s cooler. You may also benefit from:
• Wearing light, breathable clothing
• Sporting a stylish hat that shades your face
• Sitting in front of a misting fan on hot days
• Bringing a portable, handheld fan with you
3. Treat Yourself to Summer Fruits and Veggies
The summer is a perfect time to up your intake of nutrient-rich fruits and veggies that can also naturally fight inflammation and help your manage your chronic pain. Tart-sweet cherries, for instance, have been shown to ease pain related to some types of arthritis.
4. Check Air Quality Regularly
Sources of chronic pain like multiple sclerosis and chronic pain syndrome are sometimes affected by air pollution and humidity. So, before you head out for a day of summer fun, check the Air Quality Index for your immediate area or the location where you will be spending most of your day. If you do notice instances of poor air quality, consider planning some summer outings or getaways in more rural settings.
Lastly, it may not be all that convenient to work your regular visits into your schedule during the lazy, hazy days of summer, but it’s important to keep receiving appropriate care for your chronic pain. Keeping up with your recommended treatment plan also increases your odds of enjoying a less painful and more relaxing summer!