Living with Chronic Pain
10 Tips for Pain Management During Hot Weather
Dealing with a chronic pain condition during the heat of summer can be physically draining. Oftentimes, individuals with chronic pain conditions are hypersensitive to temperature changes and humidity.
Barometric changes can cause joint inflammation during the scorching heat of summer. As inflammation increases, anti-inflammatory medications may become less effective, and dosages may need adjustment.
Tips to help with pain management during hot weather include the following:
- Stay indoors as much as possible. Spending a lot of time in hot, humid conditions should be avoided. While outside during hot months, take frequent breaks and avoid overexertion.
- Adjust the air conditioner. Using an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep indoor humidity levels low helps prevent increased pain levels.
- Drink water. Dehydration can easily occur during hot months. Drinking water to maintain hydration helps keep pain levels low.
- Eat healthy. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables provides essential vitamins and minerals for the body. Cherries have inflammation-reducing compounds that reduce pain and inflammation.
- Wear proper clothing. Loose-fitting, lightweight, white or light-colored clothing, especially cotton or silk, is comfortable and keeps the body cooler.
- Use mint products. Mint soap, lotion or powder refreshes the skin and provides a cooling sensation.
- Enjoy outdoor water sources. A pool, lake, sprinkler or other water source can help keep the body cool during hot months. A misting fan can also help with summer pain flares. Sunscreen should be used to avoid sunburn.
- Plan ahead. Plan vacations in advance to avoid travel during extremely hot months. Plan activities in early mornings or late afternoons. A folding chair with extra cushions can stop certain pain symptoms from escalating.
- Monitor air quality. Air pollution increases inflammation; therefore, air quality ratings should be checked before going outdoors.
- Ask for advice. Ask a health care professional for advice about coping with outdoor heat. Develop a strategy to deal with hot or humid weather when it occurs.