Surviving Hot Summer Months with Chronic Pain

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For chronic pain sufferers, each new season brings with it its own set of challenges and difficulties to face and overcome. Living with a chronic pain condition can make even the smallest of daily tasks incredibly painful and difficult, and this can become a lot worse in the summer months.

While for some chronic pain sufferers, the hot weather can make their symptoms more manageable, for others, the high temperatures and humidity can make life even more difficult to navigate. Exposure to the hot weather can make chronic pain sufferers feel lightheaded and fatigued, so it is important that you have a plan in place to protect yourself. Here are our top tips on how to survive the hot summer months with chronic pain.

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image created by Brandi Clevinger using the stock photo from Unsplash
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Surviving Hot Summer Months with Chronic Pain

Stay Hydrated

While this may seem like one of the most obvious tips, it is by far one of the most important. As a chronic pain sufferer, you will likely already be aware of how essential it is for you to keep your body hydrated, and how much of a difference it can make to your overall wellbeing. But some medications can cause dehydration, and during high temperatures, not drinking enough water can become even more dangerous.

If you decide to bask in the sun, we recommend you drink water frequently, and avoid drinks that can dehydrate you further, such as coffee, alcohol, and caffeinated soft drinks.

Get a Cooling Mattress

Getting to sleep when you suffer from chronic pain can be difficult enough, but this is taken to a whole new level during the summer months. It has been scientifically proven that it is hard to get to sleep when it is warmer, so having a chronic pain condition will likely generate its own difficulties.

However, there are a few options available to you that can help ease the distress caused by sleepless nights, such as by investing in a cooling mattress. These can keep you cooler at night and make drifting off to sleep easier. Many cooling mattresses that are currently on the market also have pressure relieving points to help support your body and ease any pain that prevents you from getting to sleep at night.

image from Unsplash

Keep Yourself as Cool as Possible

Staying cool during the hot summer months can be a considerable challenge, but trying to maintain a cool temperature can really help your levels of pain and discomfort. If you are at home, then you may consider using the air conditioning or a portable fan to help keep a cool temperature at all times.

You could also invest in a cooling fitness towel, which can be kept wet to feel colder than the temperature in the air. Placing a cooling towel on the back of your neck can help to keep you cool and refreshed on a hot day.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

While you may want to get out there and enjoy the summer, direct exposure to sunlight may only make your chronic pain more difficult to live with. Many sufferers find that flare-ups can be caused by heat exhaustion or sunburn, so it is essential that you do everything you can to limit your exposure to the direct sun.

If you do go out in the sun, then remember to always cover up your skin, wear sun protection clothing, and to use a strong SPF.

The approaching summer months as someone with chronic pain doesn’t have to fill you with dread. By making a few changes and having a plan in place, you can ensure that you have all the resources to enjoy the nicer weather and have some fun!

Brandi

Hi, I’m Brandi, the writer and creator of Being Fibro Mom and My Fibro Journal. Aside from my work on Being Fibro Mom, I run a group called Fibro Parenting on Facebook. I've been writing for the Fibromyalgia Magazine since 2016 and recently became the Secretary and Fibro & Families program director for International Support Fibromyalgia Network. Facebook-+-Twitter-+-Instagram

2 thoughts on “Surviving Hot Summer Months with Chronic Pain

  • September 16, 2020 at 11:36 am
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    Hi Brandi! Great advice, especially about avoiding direct sunlight. I live in sunny central Florida and my son and I often go outside to play during the day. During the summer we can only be out there for 10-15 minutes at a time before it becomes too much, but I have found lately that I am utterly exhausted once I come inside from playing. I almost immediately have to go lay down and recoup.

    If I am feeling too tired to play outside, I will usually sit in a chair in the sun. Of course, it makes me pretty tired and I could fall right asleep there. I thought sitting in the sun would do me good – I hadn’t thought about it making me more tired!

    Reply
    • October 15, 2020 at 8:09 am
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      Yes, absolutely rest is needed after fun in the sun. The body loves Vitamin D, too. When my kids were younger, I enjoyed playing outdoors with them and then snuggling on the couch for rest and a movie. We usually would nap a little while. Great for my kids AND me. haha

      Reply

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