Surviving spring with fibro, arthritis and chronic pain
Whether you suffer from arthritis during the cold embrace of winter or experience fibro flare-ups during the warm spring and summer months, when you’re managing long-term conditions that cause chronic pain, it can be hard all year round.
We’ve put together some tips and advice to help you make the most of spring whilst still taking care of your health.
Changing weather patterns can leave our bodies struggling to adjust. Where possible, stay out of the sun during the hottest points of the day and instead, seek shaded places. If you’re spending time outdoors such as walking or running errands, go first thing in the morning or later in the day when it’s cooler. Consider a cold pack, cooling spray or fan to keep with you when you’re out and about to help regulate your body temperature.
The warmer the weather, the more water our bodies need to function properly. Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue and muscle cramps, so make sure you keep a bottle of water on hand. The NHS recommends that we should drink around 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. If you don’t enjoy drinking water, then water-rich foods, such as cucumber and celery can help hydrate you too.
Eat the right foods
Supplying your body with nutrients will help it to manage pain symptoms and function as well as possible. Spring usually has us reaching for lighter, fresher foods anyway, so it should be easy to pack your diet full of delicious fresh fruits and vegetables. Key nutrients to look out for if you’re suffering with pain are: magnesium, Vitamin D, iron, Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B12. Leafy greens, avocados, grains and fortified cereals will also do you the world of good.
Get enough sleep
Many people feel the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in winter, whereby the lack of natural light affects our circadian rhythms and can cause symptoms such as depression, low mood and tiredness. Equally, as daylight hours start to draw out in spring, we often find ourselves staying awake for longer, depriving us of a good night’s sleep. Try to stick to a routine that involves plenty of sleep and invest in some blackout curtains if your sleep is interrupted by outside light.
Sometimes the most basic daily activities can be too much if you’re suffering with fibro or arthritis, but where possible, doing gentle exercise can have long-term benefits. Swimming, walking and yoga are all low-impact sports that you can do at your own pace. Keeping your muscles strong will help support your joints, keep your heart healthy and support overall wellbeing.
How do you manage throughout the spring? What are your biggest challenges, and what would you recommend to others in your position? Please share your comments with us on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
At Pernaton we support you keeping active, getting outdoors and doing the things you love. Our pain-relieving gel is formulated with completely natural ingredients, supplying your body with essential nutrients to support joint function and relieve pain.