The changing seasons can make inflammation and chronic pain flare up, and autumn is no different. Fall brings a host of new activities, like cleaning out the gutters, raking the leaves and putting up Halloween decorations. All of those activities are difficult on their own, let alone if you’re battling chronic pain.
Today, we’re going share some tips for managing chronic pain in the fall.
Autumn and Chronic Pain
Here are some ways to prevent chronic pain flare ups this season.
Stretch and Exercise – Before you jump into an activity, make sure your body is warmed up. If you don’t give your body time to get ready for physical activity, you’ll notice it in your joints. Even it’s something as simple as walking around your house or yard for five minutes before you begin, give your body time to warm up.
Dress Warm – Speaking of warming up, make sure you dress appropriately for the weather. As we saw in the last few weeks, autumn can bring 90 degree temperatures and 50 degree weather, so don’t just assume you’ll be warm enough with a T-shirt and shorts. It’s always easier to overdress and take a layer off than to find more layers if you’re away from your home. Keeping your appendages warm will ensure your blood circulates properly and your fingers and toes get the oxygen they need to avoid cramping or pain.
Ask For Help – If you’re having a particularly painful day, don’t be afraid to ask a friend or family member for help. Attempting to rake the whole yard can exacerbate pain if you overdo it. Additionally, it’s always nice to have a friend nearby if you have to get up on a ladder to reach the gutters or put up decorations. Not only can they stabilize the ladder, but they can take over if the pain is too great.
Pain Relievers – If you know you’re in for a day of physical activity, consider an over-the-counter pain reliever. Ibuprofen, Aspirin and Naproxen can help control inflammation, which is often the root cause of chronic pain. Be sure you know how your body reacts under these medications, and consult with your doctor if you are currently on any prescription medications before taking anything else.
Stop if you Feel Pain – If you’re dealing with chronic pain, odds are physical activity will bring about some discomfort, and that’s actually a good thing. You’re strengthening your muscles and naturally combating chronic pain, but if you start to feel dizzy, nauseous or sharp pain, stop what you’re doing. Take a break for a bit and see if a little rest helps the pain subside. If pain is just too much, schedule a consultation with a pain specialist.
Thomas Cohn, MD
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