By Jackie Manning, ARNP, Strive! Health and Rehabilitation
Summer brings with it travel, water activities, food & fun. As most of us know, the relentless heat can be less than pleasant! Below are a few tips to help those who suffer from chronic pain to enjoy the outdoors. With just a few adaptations, it’s possible to be outdoors and enjoy the fresh air and fun.
- If you are going to an event or gathering where you are unsure about the seating situation, BRING YOUR OWN CHAIR!! These days it’s quite easy to find a comfortable chair that is also lightweight. Zero gravity chairs are like a breath of fresh air to chronic pain sufferers. A camping chair with decent back support will also do the trick.
- WATER, WATER and more WATER! Our bodies are comprised of 90% water and being out in the summer heat depletes our bodies of this vital resource. Hydration is extremely important, especially in areas with high humidity. Dehydration can cause headaches and chronic pain flare-ups. To spice up the status quo, try infusing your water with berries, cucumbers, citrus or herbs, as this will improve the taste and allow you to enjoy something different.
- POOL TIME!!! If you’re in the pool or a lake, pool noodles work wonders for lightening your load. Wrap the noodle around your chest and under your arms and you’re all set. For those who like venturing out in the deep water, if you allow your legs to dangle, this offers a gentle spinal stretch and decompression. Also, walking in the pool will help to maintain flexibility.
- Don’t forget medication & food. Plan ahead so that you’re sure to take enough medication with you on your adventure. A handy alarm can help you remember your meds amidst all the summer fun. Remember that healthy eating is one way to keep chronic pain at bay. In the words of Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Choose healthy and fresh plant-based summer foods like watermelon and green salads, topped off with fresh vegetables and berries.
Summer is meant to be enjoyed, and with a little forethought and prep work, the fun can be endless.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY!!!! Remember to keep your therapy appointments. And, YES continue to maintain your treatment, which will undoubtedly make your summer even MORE fun!
As always, the advice and information contained in this article is for education purposes only, and you should always consult your health care provider and physical therapist before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material. Our professional healthcare team at Strive is always available to answer any questions or assist you any way we can.
ENJOY YOUR SUMMER SEASON!
As always, STRIVE!!!