Chronic Pain in the Summer: Finding Relief in the Heat

June 29, 2022

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There are a few things as emotionally draining as battling chronic pain. Unlike acute pain, which goes after a short while, chronic pain stays with you for months, if not years, and often affects more than just one region of your body.  

Chronic pain can take away from the joys of everyday life. It can make it especially hard to perform ordinary activities, ultimately leaving most with depression and anxiety. It is even worse during the warm, humid summers, where symptoms have been observed to be at their worst.

Now, while there is no sure approach to completely eradicating chronic pain, there are a few ways you can alleviate the symptoms through a combination of drugs, therapy, and lifestyle changes. Here is a brief guide to finding comfort when experiencing chronic pain in the summer.

Common Chronic Pain in the Summer

As we’ve seen, the heat and humidity experienced during summer increase chronic pain symptoms. However, there are some conditions that are commonly triggered by the heat:

Migraines

These are excruciating headaches that make you feel sick or sensitive to light. Reports have shown that migraines are triggered by dehydration, which is more prevalent during the hot summer. If you suffer from migraines, you are advised to take plenty of water or drinks with electrolytes.

If you experience an attack, you can take cover in a dark, silent room. If you must go out, make sure to wear a hat, use an umbrella, or polarized sunglasses to shield yourself from the summer sun’s glare.

Arthritis

There have been numerous reports indicating that hot weather increases joint discomfort in older adults suffering from osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis. When the temperature and humidity vary, joint tissues expand and contract, consequently causing pain.

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is yet another condition that can be triggered by the heat of the summer. It is a nerve system disorder that causes vision issues, fatigue, discomfort, and disorientation.

If you have multiple sclerosis, even the tiniest increase in body temperature might intensify your symptoms. This can happen when you spend too much time basking in the sun, during exercises, or hot baths.

Therefore, it is advised that you stay cool by dressing in light, breezy clothing and be prepared to go indoors in the event that your symptoms worsen.

How to Relieve Chronic Pain during Summer

When dealing with patients with chronic pain, most healthcare providers’ approach is to address the cause of chronic pain before attempting to treat it. However, as you might know, chronic pain is notoriously difficult to diagnose. If they can’t find the root cause, they’ll focus on treating or controlling the discomfort. Some techniques such as heat and ice treatments are becoming increasingly popular.

Here are some other strategies to battle the heat and minimize your discomfort if you have pain during the summer:

Go out for a swim

Minimal cardio, such as water activities, is beneficial to people with arthritis or chronic joint discomfort. Swimming, for instance, is a terrific approach to relieve joint pain and cool down during the heat.

Drink water

Maintaining electrolyte levels and fluids by drinking water and keeping hydrated is critical to avoiding pain or migraines caused by dehydration.

Stay indoors

Spending lots of time outside can harm your joints and reduce the effectiveness of your anti-inflammatory medicine. If the heat triggers pain flare-ups, it is time to head to an air-conditioned environment that can help you regulate your body temperature.

Get an immunity boost

Fresh vegetables not only increase your body’s vitamins but also supplement you with minerals, antioxidants, and other immunity-boosting reserves. Luckily, with all the different fresh produce available during the summer, it should be easy to access an anti-inflammatory diet should be simple. Cherries, for instance, are a summer fruit that can help those with chronic pain.

Wear light clothing

Tight clothes with heavy fabrics are a no-no during summer. They don’t allow for the evaporation of sweat, which is what cools the body. Instead, you want to stick to light clothes and linen, especially during a chronic pain attack.

Let’s Tackle Your Chronic Pain the Summer

It is important to keep in mind that dealing with chronic pain is a continuous process. To keep your pain at bay, it is crucial that you follow all the above tips and regularly see your doctor, even after summer. Also, ensure that you take all your medications as prescribed.

For more information, do not hesitate to visit our website and get in touch with a member of our team.

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