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Managing Arthritis in Summer

By Sara Butler

Arthritis is no fun, but you have to find a way to reduce your symptoms and keep living life -- there’s simply no other choice. One way you can help to control your symptoms is by understanding how things outside of your control can make arthritis pain worse and then take steps to help yourself. For many people, arthritis symptoms seem to get worse in the summer and there’s a good reason for that. Here’s what you need to know about arthritis pain in the hot summer months and what you can do to help alleviate it.

What Happens in Summer

If your arthritis seems to flare up in summer, then you can place the blame squarely on the hot, humid weather. In fact, the hotter it is outside, the more your body will be prone to swelling. The more prone to swelling you are, the more pain from arthritis you’ll be in.

Barometric pressure also has some impact. The pressure changes outside can trigger receptors in the joints to be more sensitive to pain. When the pressure changes occur, your joints will often feel tighter and stiff. Plus, your ligaments, muscles, and tendons can expand when the barometric pressure drops, such as right before a storm, which can irritate joints that are already sensitive.

Hydration and Heat

There are some studies that suggest changes in temperature also cause changes in the levels of fluid in your body, reducing lubrication of your joints and increasing pain and inflammation.

Of course, being dehydrated, as people sometimes get in the summer, is also a contributor to joint pain. The cartilage that helps to cushion your joints is made up mostly of water. If you’re dehydrated, then the fluids in your cartilage are not replenished as they should be and that can make existing pain much worse.

What You Can Do

There are many things you can do to help manage your arthritis pain in the summer aside from seeing your chiropractor at The Joint. Make sure to elevate and ice any areas that are particularly painful, which is a great short-term solution. In the long-term, you should make sure to stay properly hydrated and active. It’s important to understand your limits when it comes to activity levels, but moving around and keeping your range of motion in check is also important.

If you have questions about your arthritis, then discuss them with your chiropractor at The Joint!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Jacksonville, Fla.

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