Seven Summertime Solutions to Chronic Pain
Experiencing chronic pain during the summer months brings it own set of challenges and solutions. It’s time to beat the pain during these hot months.
- Stop wearing flip flops: Even though it is hot outside, wearing those flip-flops often will make a variety of painful conditions worse. The instability of these popular shoes (if you can really call them shoes) leads to more back pain, leg pain and foot pain.
- Swim Often: Take advantage of the warmer weather by jumping in a pool. Immersing yourself in water helps to reduce the amount of stress on sore body parts. Exercise in the pool is very therapeutic for a variety of painful conditions.
- Hydrate your body: Dehydration weakens the body and causes even more aches and pains. Watch for signs of dehydration like dizziness. And remember that water is life for muscles, nerves and bones.
- Pace Yourself: During the summer, there are so many fun activities to do, places to go, and people to see. If you don’t set a sustainable pace, your body will hurt. A sustainable pace allows you to do more with less pain. Stop and rest frequently to allow your body to catch up your mind.
- Cool Off: Sometimes chronic pain will be worse with too much heat. Keep the pain and inflammation in check by cooling off with ice, air conditioning, or a cool spot in the shade. If you like to take walks as part of your daily exercise routine, go in the early mornings before it gets too hot.
- Travel Smart: Many people travel during the summer, but traveling can be very difficult if you experience chronic pain. Travel light is a smart solution for chronic pain. Planning for rest days during your journey is a great way to keep the pain from getting unmanageable. And while traveling adhere to the other solutions mentioned here.
- Eat Well: Ice cream and cold drinks are the siren songs during the summertime that will cause more pain. Maintaining a proper anti-inflammatory diet throughout the year, even when it is hot outside and the ice cream truck just stopped in your neighborhood, is an essential solution to chronic pain.
Summertime is the fun time of the year and still can be full of joy even if you are living with chronic pain. Try some of these solutions to stay as comfortable as possible no matter how hot it is outside.
Christina Lasich, M.D., wrote about chronic pain and osteoarthritis for HealthCentral. She is physiatrist in Grass Valley, California. She specializes in pain management and spine rehabilitation.