Summer means hot and warm weather, where there’s more sunshine and vitamin D freely available. We need to take advantage of this to get outdoors. The more you move, the more you’ll lubricate any stiffened-up joints, to prevent more serious joint problems like arthritis or injuries. No matter how healthy you think you might be, there comes a time in life where we might experience joint pain.
Luckily, there are a few ways to help loosen the joints up and ease the symptoms. If you start doing these suggested things you might even be able to prevent joint pain entirely. Let’s embrace the summer and get moving! Today I am going to shed some light on the matter and provide you with a few simple suggestions that medical experts recommend for alleviating joint pain.
Often, being in the cold can cause joint pain because our bones, joints, and muscles all stiffen and tighten up. Besides, hardly anybody feels like waking up at 5 a.m. when it’s freezing cold outside. We all struggle with aches and pains now and then. Generally, the root cause of joint pain depends on a variety of factors.
Sometimes your joints might ache because of an old injury that you may have aggravated. Or maybe you hurt your lower back in the past? The fact of the matter is, the longer you sit in a day the more likely you will experience joint pain. Either way, nobody enjoys pain, and feeling uncomfortable is no fun at all.
Summer Time And Pain-Free
Apparently, according to a study conducted by Litozin, a natural joint care supplement, over half of the British adults aged between 16 and 64 are affected by joint pain over the summer months. The Telegraph reports back on this topic, saying that nearly a third of those aged between 55 and 64 said that they suffer from joint pain every day during the summer.
This was a surprise to me because you’d assume that sore joints would only happen during the colder seasons. However, experts explain that the heat during summer can make people’s joints very swollen which can cause a variety of issues. This inflammation is caused by water retention which happens due to the hot weather. But it is still better for somebody who struggles with joint pain to remain in a warmer climate than a colder one.
Steven Lau, a consultant orthopedic surgeon at Benenden Hospital in Kent, says that it might be more beneficial to go on a holiday and soak up the sun than to remain in the cold. Steven says that summer holidays are beneficial for joint pain. This is because of a combination of warm temperatures and a lack of stress. He added that those who suffer from arthritis state that it is worse when the weather is cold and damp.
Summer Aches And Pains
There is a wide variety of joint pain and sometimes, it is not the only reason you might be experiencing discomfort. According to Dr. Helen Webberley, there are several types of soreness you can experience in your body.
Earlier, I mentioned that not moving can worsen your aches and pains. Ironically, moving too much and overdoing it at the gym can make aches, pains, and inflammation in the body just as bad. If not worse. That’s why you need to be careful, especially if you plan on starting a new exercise routine for the summer. It can be as easy to injure yourself as walking on the beach. When you use muscles you haven’t in a long time and then race into it, you can seriously hurt yourself. So if you’re going for a walk, take it slow and walk a short distance and then work your way up.
Webberley adds that the second is wear and tear arthritis, or osteoarthritis. She says that this happens to everyone to some extent at some age. However, the degree and severity of the pain may vary from person to person. She went on to explain that the third was ‘invasive, inflammatory arthritis.’ This can include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gouty arthritis.
Don’t panic if you are currently struggling with these. Luckily, there are some options for you no matter which one you are dealing with. Dr. Webberley explains that if you experience inflammatory arthritis, a simple blood test can help with diagnosis. This alone won’t remove the problem.
Summer or not, there are some simple solutions you can start doing to try to alleviate your pain. Dr. Webberley recommends three categories: prevention, cure, and natural remedies.
Solutions For The Summer
Thank you to the Telegraph, we were able to get a better idea of what needs to happen to help us avoid joint pain.
Keep Your Weight Healthy
It makes sense that being overweight would place added pressure on your joints. Since we’re enjoying the summer it gives us the opportunity to eat well and exercise.
Experts highly recommend maintaining a healthy weight so that you do not overload yourself.
Keep Exercise A Regular Event
It’s never helped anybody to sit around all day long. Humans need to move regularly throughout the day otherwise we will literally stiffen up. Exercising will keep your joints moving and you will keep them strong at the same time.
Dr. Webberley says that when you don’t stay active, your muscles will weaken and your joints will suffer.
Don’t Forget To Stretch And Lengthen
Just like most things, we tend to rush what we are doing. You need to take your time and do what’s going to benefit you most in the long term. If you plan on a summer run or walk tomorrow morning, then be sure to get in a good stretch that evening to lengthen everything out.
It is crucial that we ensure our bodies are warmed up and prepared for the exercise we are about to do. Likewise, your body also needs time to cool down and wind down when you are done. If you plan to complete a marathon, make sure you do some gentle strengthening exercises before and after the event.
Stop When You Need To
Fair enough, summer is exciting and the best time of year to exercise. However, you must be cautious and realistic about your capabilities. It is a process, not a competition.
Try not to plunge into crazy fitness routines, rather avoid putting that pressure on yourself. Do what you can, to begin with, and work your way up instead.
Every Year We Age
Bear in mind that every year our bodies age slightly. We must be gentle with them and not place unnecessary stress on our bodies. You can’t deny the aging process, no matter how hard you try. Summer or not, all of our bodies change every year, and we must not strain them too significantly.
Dr. Webberley told the Telegraph that the secret to joint pain is ‘RICE.’ She explains that with an injury, like a sprain or a strain, you must follow the R.I.C.E protocol within 48 hours.
This includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If you want to venture on to some summer exercises then these are key to managing an injury. It doesn’t matter how small the injury is either because if it goes untreated it could worsen, especially if you continue exercising.
Experts say that there are many natural remedies available. However, the key is that they are all heat-related. Dr. Webberley recommends wheat packs in the microwave, deep heat rubs, hot water bottles, and soothing hot baths. These are all fantastic ways to help alleviate joint pain whenever it happens.
Dr. Webberley and other medical experts recommend the following tools for keeping your body pain-free during the summer.
- Stay active, but ALWAYS listen to your body
- Starting a new exercise program? Take it slow, be gentle and progress over time
- The Telegraph recommends swimming and Pilates to take the weight off sore joints. Moreover, Pilates can also be very good at reducing back pain, because it focuses on core stability exercises.
- Listen out for new and unusual symptoms
- See a doctor if you develop painful swollen joints
- Keep your weight healthy: going into older age at a healthy weight is vital
- Most importantly, keep moving. Dr. Webberley says joints can stiffen quickly. Therefore, keeping them mobile and agile is important.