5 Powerful Strategies to Soothe Chronic Pain in the Summer

This blog post will provide you with expert-recommended strategies to help you manage chronic pain during the summer months. You'll learn practical techniques and valuable insights that will enable you to find relief, stay cool, and soothe chronic pain effectively.


For many years the connection between weather and chronic pain has been dismissed as an urban legend or an old wife’s tale. Robert Newlin Jamison, Ph.D., who teaches in both the Harvard department of psychiatry and the Harvard department of anesthesiology, has been quoted as saying:

5 Powerful Strategies to Soothe Chronic Pain in the Summer 1

 Everyone’s got an aunt who complained that her knee or ankle would flare up. Or Uncle Charlie's shoulder would give him trouble, and he would say, "Oh, the weather’s changing.

Even though most of the academic community has overlooked such anecdotal evidence, Doctor Jamison chose to investigate further, conducting a study published in Pain magazine that surveyed chronic pain-sufferers across the United States, which revealed that more than two-thirds of people who had chronic pain felt that they could predict the weather based upon their symptoms. Jamison ended up making a conclusion that many doctors and scientists have since agreed on: barometric pressure changes — which tend to occur in conjunction with high humidity, storms, temperature drops, and other dramatic weather events — may cause increased pain for people that suffer from arthritis and other chronic pain-causing health conditions.

The scorching heat of summer can have a direct impact on chronic pain, exacerbating symptoms and making everyday life more challenging. Here are some ways in which heat can contribute to your chronic pain:

Inflammation: Heat and humidity can trigger increased inflammation in the body. For individuals with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia, this can lead to heightened pain and stiffness in the joints and muscles. The combination of high temperatures and humidity can make it even more difficult for the body to regulate inflammation, intensifying discomfort.

Sensitivity to temperature changes: Many people with chronic pain conditions are sensitive to changes in temperature. The sudden shift from air-conditioned spaces to hot outdoor environments can cause a shock to the system, leading to increased pain. The body's ability to adapt to extreme temperatures may be compromised, resulting in heightened sensitivity and discomfort.

Dehydration: The summer heat can lead to dehydration, which can enhance chronic pain symptoms. Dehydration affects the body's ability to circulate nutrients and eliminate waste products effectively. These can result in muscle cramps, fatigue, and increased pain perception. Staying well-hydrated is crucial to maintaining overall bodily function and minimizing the impact of dehydration on chronic pain.

Sleep disturbances: High temperatures can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to inadequate rest for individuals with chronic pain. Sleep plays a crucial role in pain management and overall well-being. When sleep is compromised, pain sensitivity may increase, making it challenging to cope with chronic pain symptoms during the day. Creating a cooler and comfortable sleep environment can help mitigate these effects.

Increased muscle tension: Heat can cause muscles to tighten and become more prone to spasms and cramping. For those with chronic pain, this can lead to intensified discomfort and reduced mobility. Heat-related muscle tension can affect various body areas, including the back, neck, and shoulders, making it difficult to perform daily activities and exacerbating existing pain conditions.

Understanding how heat contributes to chronic pain is crucial for developing effective strategies to manage symptoms during the summer months. By prioritizing hydration, creating a cooler environment, and taking proactive measures to reduce inflammation and muscle tension, individuals can minimize the impact of heat on their chronic pain experience. It is essential to listen to your body, pace yourself, and seek professional guidance to optimize pain management during summer.

5 ways to soothe chronic pain in the heat of summer

hydration

Prioratize Hydration

Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, constipation, dry skin, chapped lips, trouble focusing, lightheadedness, vertigo, irritability, and tightness/pain in the muscles and tendons. For those suffering from chronic pain, these symptoms can amplify the effects of arthritis. Drinking enough liquid, especially on hot days, is a simple and straightforward way of combating these symptoms. Try putting ½ a teaspoon of unheated salt in your water to add more minerals

sun protection

Remember the UV Protection

You probably already know that excessive sun exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer. Because sun burns can also lead to widespread pain, fatigue, and dizziness, wearing sunscreen is another no-brainer when it comes to controlling chronic pain. Make sure that your sunscreen does not contain harmful ingredients. Fact: there are at least 27 sunscreen ingredients that have been banned in Europe, Japan and Canada but allowed in the U.S. Find better quality sunscreens here.

dress light

Dress For Success

Opting for breathable fabrics like cotton and linen allows for better air circulation and prevents excessive sweating. Light-colored garments reflect sunlight, keeping your body temperature lower and reducing the risk of overheating. Additionally, wearing loose-fitting clothing promotes comfort and freedom of movement, while ensuring adequate sun protection with UPF-rated garments and accessories helps prevent sunburns and further pain exacerbation. 

swimming

Swimming

Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for anyone suffering from chronic pain, as it helps provide a balanced workout for your muscles without the high-impact strain that exercises such as running and weightlifting require. In the summertime, swimming is even more effective for pain-control, as it helps your body cool off and relax in the face of high temperatures.

eliminate chronic pain

body maintenance

Summertime means vacations, time off, and relaxation for many people — but there is no excuse to take time off from your pain management routine. Be sure to make all your appointments and complete any prescribed exercises and medication schedules in order to optimize your results. Here are a few self-help techniques for different parts of your body.

Are you still struggling with chronic pain? Visit Last Stop 4 Pain online today to learn about our pain resolution services, including nutritional counseling, medical massage therapy, genetic testing, and much more!

About the author 

Ani Papazyan BS, CN, LMT, LE

As a Pain Resolution Practitioner, I empower individuals to conquer body pain, reclaim their lives, and embrace personalized wellness based on their unique genetic makeup, offering tailored solutions, self-help techniques, and transformative strategies.

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