Arthritis sufferers often say they prefer heat as they find it easier on their joints. However, headache patients vary: some prefer heat; others experience more pain during the summer.
The effects of humidity are not clear. Migraine sufferers report less pain in both low humidity and high humidity, while many report increased migraine headaches during changes in both humidity and pressure.
Sweating and Humidity: Sweat is a natural phenomenon. It helps the body to cool down. However, perspiration only works if the sweat evaporates off your body. In highly humid days, if the sweat just lingers on your body, it is not working well. Be aware that if you are feeling constantly dewy or moist, that your body’s perspiration functions aren’t working optimally. You can actually become dehydrated in this situation, increasing your chances for headaches and spine pain. Increase your hydration accordingly, drinking as much as 1-2 cups per hour of water while actively sweating.
Take a Dip: The warm weather makes swimming an ideal pastime and exercise, all in one. Take advantage of the sunny skies and swim, either leisurely or with some gusto. Enroll in a water aerobics or hydrotherapy class. All of these are beneficial for all pain sufferers. Check out these articles about swimming for pain relief:
Other summer issues that may bother pain sufferers:
- Different summer schedules which could mean school age children underfoot who need attention and activities. Often, vacations can be stressful, as adults’ and children’s activities outside (waterparks, theme parks, sports events) are not always easy on pain patients.
- Long days and short nights. If you are very sensitive to the amount of light outside, then it may be hard for you to settle down until much later in the evening than usual. In addition, the morning light may wake you up earlier than you had hoped. Pain sufferers need consistent, restorative sleep. Buy the plushest pair of eyeshades possible (think 1940’s films!) and try to avoid the light.
- Traveling while exciting can be tough on pain sufferers. You might want to check out these tips for traveling and pain management: