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6 Ways to Manage Chronic Pain and Enjoy Summer

Regardless of where you live, everyone looks forward to the summer months—the daily schedule is less hectic, leaving more time to just enjoy yourself. Hot weather can exacerbate pain symptoms, while changes to the household routine such as school breaks for the kids or family vacations can make wellness routines harder to maintain.

Enjoying the summer months and hopefully making some new memories along the way requires planning for chronic pain sufferers.

I start advising my patients in April they should be thinking of warmer months ahead and plan accordingly.

Self-care extends through all the seasons. Planning ahead for health-challenging roadblocks minimizes reliance on others, feeds your independence and keep you socially engaged.

Don’t let pain rule your summer by preparing for challenges—and enjoying the luxuries that only these few months offer:

1. Seek out your happy place—the water
Depending on your pain condition, water can be a wonderful respite from pain and you can find a pool or lake without looking too hard.

Make a point of accepting those pool party invitations and bring a cool drink into the water with you.

Don’t swim? Many pools are only four to five feet deep, so no worries. While you are in the surf or lake or pool, do some light stretching (so one can see you under the water).

Closer to home, a misting fan can be very relaxing and cold packs can be lifesavers during summer pain flares.

2. Avoid extreme heat
Unfortunately, you may be living every day with burning nerve pain. The last thing you want to expose yourself to is sunburn or prolong heat exposure. Changes in temperature and barometric pressure can also trigger joint pain.

Fortunately, many people who battle pain don’t also prefer to stay out of the heat, so it should not be hard to find some company.

Plan activities in the early morning or after the sun begins to set and put a hand-held fan in your bag whenever you venture out. Wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes. Grab a light hat to shield your face, also.

3. Prioritize proper seating
Summer activities always seem to include plenty of uncomfortable seating–tiny café chairs, bleachers at a ball game, outdoor concerts where you sit on the hard ground. Plan ahead—store a folding or travel chair that fits in the truck of your car. Add a couple of cushions to sit on or bolster your lower back.

4. Boost your immune system and eat fresh summer fare
Fruits and vegetables are not going to be better than they are right now. Enjoy them and boost your vitamin and mineral bank as well. Increase the quality of your food. You will feel so much better for it.

My favorite summer snack is the big red cherries available only for a few weeks in the market. I eat far too many, but the the health boost makes it acceptable–The USDA found that cherries contain pain-fighting and inflammation-reducing compounds that can help lessen pain, particularly arthritis.

5. Monitor the air quality
During the summer, it is especially important to pay attention to the air quality ratings before heading outdoors. Studies have shown urban air pollution increases inflammation, particularly for people with fibromyalgia, chronic pain syndrome, and MS. Before heading outside, check the Air Quality Index (AQI) at your outdoor destination.

6. Don’t put your healthcare on vacation

Don’t let summer vacations or road trips get in the way of your treatment plan. Check in with your doctor before you go and ask for help to navigate your adventure as painlessly as possible.

Be as self-sufficient as you can by planning ahead this summer. This will lessen stress and increase your independence.

SOURCE: https://www.spineuniverse.com/blogs/cooney/6-ways-manage-chronic-pain-enjoy-summer


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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