Arthritis pain can be unpredictable, which is one of the things that makes this disease so difficult to manage. In the summer, heat, fluid levels and sunlight can all affect how we feel. The heat can cause swelling, which makes arthritis pain worse. Perspiration increases our need for water, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration makes our joints stiff and painful. Lastly, many arthritis medications increase our sensitivity to sunlight.
All of these factors can be managed to help reduce pain. We can spend time indoors in the heat of the day, reserving the morning and evening for outdoor activities. We can drink lots of water and cover up with big-brimmed hats and long, loose-fitting clothing. Knowing what is coming, and how to combat it, empowers arthritis sufferers to fight pain with planning and preparation. Managing Arthritis During the Summer – Carolina Arthritis