#208 Chill Out

Summertime and holidays are great, but being a professional patient is kind of an all-time deal. You don't get holidays from chronic disease. My pain management techniques are always a big part of my life where ever I am, but they do change slightly according to the season. This summer I've been dealing with intense heat and I've realized that adjusting my activity and expectations to the temperature is a difficult task.

Many people who suffer from chronic pain are strongly affected by heat. Some kinds of pain gets better, while others gets worse when the temperature rises. Many inflammatory conditions worsen with heat, and also headaches and migraines. For muscloskeletal conditions, anything that improves circulation often relieves pain. So switching between hot and cold may bring quick relief. 

Keeping your head cool and chilling out is especially important if you have a chronic condition. This means staying in the shade, inside with A/C if applicable, drinking enough fluids and maybe taking cold showers. But most of all it's important to give yourself a break. Don't plan too much action in one day, relax, take it easy. If there is a lot going on around you, plan breaks during the day, where you retreat and have time all to yourself to recoup and stabilize so your pain doesn't spiral out of control.

Place an ice pack on your neck, have a big glass of cool lemonade and don't feel bad about doing nothing.

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