While you may not think about it, spring and summer can mean more than just hot weather—it can mean extra suffering for those who suffer from chronic pain. Why is this? We’ve put together some basic information about why and how hot weather affects pain.
How Does Hot Weather Affect Pain?
- Temperature Regulation – First and foremost, many people who have chronic pain also suffer from problems regulating their system in regards to temperature changes and moisture in the air. So, whether the temperature is moving from cold to hot or hot to cold, chronic pain sufferers will have a problem with the change of seasons.
- Arthritis – One particular pain problem that is made worse during summer is arthritis. One theory is that there is a change in the level of fluid that lines the joints based on the temperature. As the temperature rises, there may be a change in how your joints feel and move. For some people, summer is worse.
- Ozone Levels – Another theory regarding chronic pain and weather has to do with the levels of ozone in the environment. High heat and humidity increase the levels of ozone. For some people, particularly those who have fibromyalgia, MS and other chronic illnesses, this change in ozone levels can make symptoms more severe and makes life more difficult.
Tips for Managing Pain During Hot Weather
If you are the one suffering from pain, it does not matter to you what causes your pain to worsen—you just want relief. Consider these tips to help combat the pain as temperatures rise.
- Avoid the Hottest Weather – If you can stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, you may be able to avoid the worst pain.
- Use Your AC – While you may hate paying higher electric bills, the AC can be a huge help in reducing your level of pain and keeping you comfortable during the spring and summer months.
- Eat and Drink Right – Eating a smart diet and drinking plenty of water will keep you feeling your best. A hydrated, nourished body will be able to handle the heat better than one that is starved for nutrients.
- Consider Mint – Mint offers a natural cooling sensation. Mint products such as teas, lotions, and soaps can help you cool down and lessen the pain.
While warmer months may never be your favorite time of the year, a little knowledge can go a long way towards helping you combat heat-related pain during spring and summer months. At Alliance Spine & Pain Centers, we are proud to take a comprehensive and highly progressive approach to healing and pain management that allows us to treat each patient’s pain effectively. To learn more about methods to reduce pain or how hot weather affects pain, give us a call at 770.929.9033 or schedule a pain management consultation.