Ways to Reduce Summer Joint Pain
Aches and pains in joints can be especially distracting in the summer. If you’re among the estimated 100 million Americans living with chronic joint pain, heat and humidity may make symptoms more noticeable. Being more active as the days get longer can also place some added strain on joints. But this doesn’t mean you have to sit out the summer if you have joint-related discomfort.
Chronic joint pain sufferers sometimes have difficulty regulating their system as temperatures get higher. Make an effort to stay as cool as possible by scheduling your outdoor activities in the mornings or evenings when it’s cooler outside. Swimming is an excellent summer activity since you’ll be staying cool while also easing stress on your joints from water’s natural buoyancy. If swimming is too stressful on your joints, water-based exercises can provide similar benefits.
Being thirsty isn’t the only sign that your body needs more water. You can just as easily lose water from sweating on hot summer days. For times when you’ll be outside, take bottled water or a refillable container with you. It’s important to remain hydrated, because it’s water that helps maintain a steady flow of nutrients to joints, especially ones around the spine.
Yes, there is something to be said for enjoying the lazy, hazy days of summer. But too much lounging by the pool or parking yourself inside with the AC on can do more harm than good. Too much R&R can cause soft tissues that support your joints to become weak. In order to stay flexible, joints need to be sufficiently stimulated on a regular basis. You can get the exercise you need to minimize joint pain in a way that’s also fun with low-impact forms of exercise such as walking, cycling, yoga, and working in your garden.
The desire to avoid using the kitchen during the summer sometimes contributes to increased reliance on having food delivered or going out to eat. There’s nothing wrong with doing this now and then, as long as you avoid over-indulging in certain foods that contribute to inflammation, such as sugary snacks and fried or processed foods. Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy summer fruits and veggies that are loaded with antioxidants and other inflammation fighters that are both tasty and a possible source of pain management.
Another way to keep your joint pain under control during the summer months is by sticking to your treatment plan. If you’ve been working with an orthopedic specialist, for instance, ask if there are any activity restrictions you should keep in mind as you plan summer vacations, day trips to nearby amusement parts, or road trips. It can also be helpful to get any prescriptions you may need ahead of time if you’re planning to be away from home for extended periods of time.