How the Summer Months Can Affect Pain Levels
Along with the summer months come sand, sun, and relaxing days with your family. But fun in the sun isn’t all that the summertime provides. For many people with chronic pain or regular aches and pains, summer can feel different due to the weather and regular activities. Read on to learn how your aches and pains may change during the summer months.
How the summer can affect aches and pains
Aches and pains can be so different for everyone. For some people, pain can worsen during the summer compared to the cooler weather and for others, it’s the exact opposite. So, you may be used to thinking that the cold brings along worsened pain, but for some conditions, that’s not always the truth. Here are a few examples of how the summertime may worsen your aches and pains:
● Arthritis: If you or someone you know has arthritis, you may be used to hearing that cold, damp weather worsens their condition. However, that’s not always true for all people. Those who suffer from inflammatory arthritis may notice that the heat and humidity makes their pain worse. This is because the temperature and amount of humidity in the air can make the tendons and ligaments within a joint expand which results in increased pain.
● Migraines: Tension headaches are very common during the summertime. This is because they are triggered by shifts in temperature, humidity, and air pressure. Additionally, it’s common to become dehydrated in the summer heat which can lead to migraines and headaches.
● Joint pains: If you deal with regular joint pain, then you may realize that it can get worse in the summer. Like arthritis, this is because the humidity causes the tendons, ligaments, and muscles to expand. Air pressure also can affect any worn cartilage between the joints. Additionally, sweating means losing water in your body which may cause less fluid between the joints.
● MS: Although multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease, it almost always comes with severe chronic pain which can be triggered by the hot weather. In fact, temperature plays a huge part in the symptoms of MS. Whenever body temperature rises, symptoms can get noticeably worse. Thankfully, the severity of the symptoms will decrease as the body temperature starts to regulate.
Again, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone experiences pain and conditions that cause pain differently. This is why it is recommended to keep a log or record of how your body reacts to different times of the year, environments, etc. to manage your symptoms the right way.
How to relieve pain in the summer
If you do notice an increase in your pain levels during the summer, there are several ways to combat it.
Go for a swim
Swimming is an amazing way to soothe joint and muscle pain during the summer months (and year-round if you can!) Firstly, swimming increases blood circulation which reduces muscle stiffness. It also is a low-impact way to build strength which lessens the chance for future injuries and the buoyancy of water relieves pressure of the joints. Lastly, it also helps to lower your body temperature during those super hot days.
Staying hydrated year-round is important, but it’s even more crucial during the summertime. As you sweat, the fluid in your joints can start to deplete. This runs a higher risk of your joints rubbing together and causing pain. Drinking enough water and sports drinks can help maintain that fluid between the joints while also keeping you feeling good in the heat. It’s recommended for men to drink about 3.7 liters of water a day and 2.7 liters for women.
Focus on mental health
There is no doubt that the weather outside can have an impact on your mood and mental health. While many people start to feel down in the winter, some people feel that way during the summertime. Your mood has a direct impact on your pain levels and can actually make it worse. If you find yourself feeling down during the summer, make sure to seek out the right mental health help to get you back on the right track. And remember, summer only lasts for a few months!
Wearing tight clothing can raise your body temperature and restrict the movement of your joints. Instead, opt for clothing that is loose and made of natural fibers such as cotton or linen. This will help keep you cooler in the summer sun and allow for flexible movement of your muscles and joints.
Pump up the AC
Air conditioning both lowers the temperature and the humidity levels. If possible, try to stay indoors (especially during the hottest parts of the day) in a cool, air-conditioned room.
Stay seated in the shade
If you must be outside, try to sit in the shade. Standing for a prolonged period of time in the heat can cause increased pain. So be sure to sit down when needed and stay in the shade to cool your body temperature.
Using a pain relief patch
Pain relief patches are a good idea all year-round, but they’re especially ideal during busy summer months. The SINSINPAS AREX instant pain relief patches deliver a long-lasting heating and cooling effect to soothe aches and pains. They are ideal for any summer plans because they provide long-lasting relief and are made with a flexible, yet durable fabric that moves with you. Have sensitive skin? Then check out the brand new AREX Gel Patches. They’re made with aloe vera gel to soothe skin while providing the same pain relief as the traditional AREX patches. The SINSINPAS pain relief patches are made with a 4-way stretch fabric that allows for optimal movement no matter what you have planned. They’re ideal for aches and pains that come along with backaches, arthritis, strains, bruises, sprains, and more!