Lots of people complain about the heat, but did you know that the sweltering summer can take a particular toll on you if you have chronic pain? While there is no definitive scientific evidence of this yet, chronic pain sufferers appear to have greater difficulty regulating their body temperature than others.
High temperatures and humidity levels, as well as changes in barometric pressure and ozone levels, can exacerbate pain and inflammation. As a result, some people find themselves having to increase their dosage of pain medications during the summer months.
Fortunately, there are changes you can make to your environment to help you cope if you notice that the heat seems to intensify your symptoms. With high temperatures set to continue through September in many parts of the country, here are some things you can do to stay cool and help manage your pain:
- Keep your home cool with an air conditioner and/or fans.
- Limiting humidity is key for controlling chronic pain, so invest in a dehumidifier.
- Dress smart – wear white or other light colors and opt for natural, loose-fitting fabrics like cotton or silk.
- Apply cooling products, including lotions and powders, that contain mint, which provides a cooling sensation naturally.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day and stay away from soda and other sugary beverages!
- Stay out of the heat when possible! If you must be outside, don’t forget to take frequent breaks indoors.