Many chronic pain sufferers let their guard down during the summer months. With fun vacations, more time to relax (hopefully), and family picnics and barbecues, there is a lot to focus on enjoying. Unfortunately, these same activities can make chronic pain symptoms worse. So, what can do to keep your persistent pain in check during this time of the year?
Watch Your Travel Comfort
Most people get more mobile during the summer with car and air travel. While anybody can be affected by cramped spaces in seats, this annoyance can even more bothersome if you have chronic pain. Be as prepared as possible for this kind of travel by bringing along lumbar support or neck pillows. Also, make an effort to get up and stretch on flights or stop and walk around during long car trips to minimize issues with muscle tension.
Indulge in Moderation
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some extra treats now and then as you enjoy vacation or special treats at parties. What’s not so good is to completely ditch your diet. Some rich, calorie-loaded foods can trigger the inflammation that often makes chronic pain symptoms worse. Eating too much can also make you feel lethargic, which can give you less incentive to stay active with exercises that are good for your joints, muscles, and bones. Reduce your temptation to stray too far off of your diet by:
• Serving healthy yet tasty snack/meal options during gatherings you host
• Not leaving for parties or other events on a completely empty stomach
• Keeping portion sizes small
Manage Your Medication
It’s surprisingly easy to get off your medication schedule at a time when may be busy traveling, visiting, or juggling other obligations not normally part of your regular routine. The problem with skipping doses or taking medicine at different times than what’s recommended is the potential for unexpected spikes in pain as one dosage wears off before another one has a chance to kick in. One convenient way to make sure you keep taking your meds as directed is to use a handy medication reminder or pill tracker app.
Finally, make sure you find time to get sufficient sleep during the summer months. Making an exception to stay up on some nights is fine; otherwise stick to your regular sleep schedule to ensure that your body is still able to go through its nightly natural healing process in the deeper stages of sleep.