Summer is finally here. It’s time for graduations, county fairs, concerts in the park, and barbecues with your nearest and dearest. Summer is the time for families to connect and play for vacations, sports, beach trips, and theme parks.
However, these activities can be painful if you or your loved one has peripheral neuropathy. How do you ease neuropathic symptoms so you can have fun in the sun? And how do you recover if you do have a flare-up? Here are some tips for neuropathy pain relief throughout the summer months.
Beat the Heat
- Too Hot– Many people with neuropathy experience more pain when they feel overheated. With temperatures rising above ninety degrees, avoiding a flare-up can be challenging but not impossible. If you love being active in the sun, schedule your activities earlier or later in the day when it’s cooler.
- Too Cold– For some, cold can ease neuropathy symptoms, while others may experience more pain. Knowing how you react to the cold can help you choose suitable water activities. The ocean may be freezing, but most cities have temperature-controlled pools. An indoor environment like a spa might be your favorite place to relax while the kids play in the cooler water. Knowing how your body reacts to different temperatures can help you plan ahead.
It is sometimes difficult for people with neuropathy to feel a sunburn or to notice a small cut on their foot at the beach. Here are some helpful precautions to keep you injury free.
Wear Sunscreen or Light Breathable Clothing.
Covering your skin with a light cover-up or SPF shirt and applying sunscreen to exposed skin can help prevent a sunburn you might not feel developing. Keep in mind that you get double sun exposure on a boat or swimming outside because the sunlight is reflected up from the water’s surface. It is always wise to apply sunscreen to your face if you are out on the water, even if you’re wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
The summer sun and physical activities can dehydrate you faster than expected. You even sweat while swimming, though it’s hard to tell when you’re in the water. Dehydration can worsen neuropathy pain and limit the blood flow to nerves, slowing healing. An insulated water bottle is a good thing to have on hand to keep you hydrated and cool in the summer sun.
Wear Suitable Shoes.
Daily foot care is essential for people with neuropathy who may not feel an injury due to numbness in the feet and legs or a distracting sensation like pins and needles in their feet. Not only will proper shoes ensure you stay comfortable throughout the day, but they will also prevent injuries that could get infected and lead to more complications.
- Rather than going barefoot at the beach, try water shoes with flexible solid soles to guard against sharp rocks, metal, and pieces of glass.
- If you’re doing a lot of walking, choose cushioned shoes with suitable arch supports and plenty of room for your toes to prevent rubbing.
- Always check your feet at the end of the day and treat all injuries immediately.
What you put into your body can make a big difference in how it reacts to the outside world. With a bit of preparation, you can stay ahead of the pain.
With all the treats and goodies available at parties, barbecues, and other venues, indulging in your favorite guilty pleasures is tempting. Certain foods tend to cause flare-ups, however.
Indulging at home in controlled circumstances may not cause much harm, but combining inflammatory foods with a long and physically taxing day in the heat could cause severe pain. The good news is summer is the best time to get your favorite fruits and veggies in season.
Supplements For Peripheral Neuropathy
Correcting nutritional deficiencies and supplementing your diet with herbs that decrease inflammation and improve nerve recovery can start your day right and help you last longer before symptoms return. Talk to a doctor that specializes in neuropathy to have them advise you about which supplements to take and in what amounts.
Stay Active But Observant
Exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system, increases access to nutrition-rich blood to the nerves, lowers blood sugar, and improves overall health. Despite its many benefits, too much activity might cause pain.
Listen to your body. Start slow and work up to regular workout routines and take a break as often as you need one. Since multiple environmental factors affect nerve pain, you may be ready for anything some days, and others may tire you or feel pain more quickly. Be patient with yourself.
Once the day is done and everyone goes home, your body may need a little TLC to get back on track.
- Soak your feet in a cool or warm water bath, depending on what soothes your nerves.
- A foot massage can soothe nerves while releasing endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.
- Topical oils, creams, and lotions may offer some pain relief.
- Give yourself time to rest and recuperate.
Peripheral neuropathy can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, but with some planning, it doesn’t have to stop you from doing what you love this summer.
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to texts, graphics, images, and other material contained in this article, are for informational purposes only. None of the material mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.