The dog days of summer get their name from astrological legend. The rising of Sirius, also known as the “Dog Star,” was at one time associated with the sultriest, roughest days of the seasons. High temperatures, spontaneous thunderstorms, and general discomfort mark the period from early July through the middle of August. We are currently in the thick of it, and if you’re feeling it in your joints it’s time to take action.
If chronic joint pain is an issue for you due to the inflammation of fluid in your knee, elbow, shoulder or other joints, you may not be imagining things if you find your discomfort has increased with the temperature. Outdoor heat and humidity can have an affect on the stiffness of your joints. Exercise is one key to staying healthy, and keeping your cool at the same time is key.
To maintain good exercise habits while managing joint pain, remember to drink plenty of water when you work out, and dress appropriately for the weather. Lightweight and loose clothing can also help you move your body without restrictions and allow for increased flexibility.
Other ways to help your joints in the summer include:
- Changing up your routine to include more indoor activities. Mall walking, indoor gymnasiums and fitness centers, and dedicated exercise space at home may work better when the temperature reaches record highs.
- Swim more in the summer if you can. Swimming is an excellent exercise for joint pain patients in that the water’s buoyancy alleviates stress on the limbs.
- Consult with your orthopaedic specialist on the best types of topical treatments for inflammation. If your joint pain is severe, you may need to consider another minimally invasive treatment for long term health.
At Bon Secours Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists, our physicians and therapists help people from all walks of life with arthritis, bone fractures, and other conditions related to joint pain. Learn more about our treatments and physical therapies, and contact us for more information.