Summer Heat and Chronic Pain

Does summer heat make chronic pain worse? Many people who suffer from conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and headaches associate aggravated pain with weather changes. Medical theories suggest that a drop in barometric pressure results in an increased amount of pressure on the joints. Add that an increase in heat and humidity affects how the joint tissue expands and contract. Dehydration, which can happen easily in the hot summer months, can trigger tension headaches and migraines.

How do these theories compare with science, though, and what can people experiencing chronic pain do to minimize increased pain in hot summer months?

According to, “While the science supporting a link between temperature changes and pain is not robust, it’s still a commonly reported phenomenon throughout medical literature. With that, the biology behind the link is likely complex and maybe even unique for each person. In the meantime, follow your gut—if the heat worsens your pain, then minimize your exposure, as best as you can.”
Summer Wellness Tips
Stay Hydrated

Dehydration leads to fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, and can make chronic pain symptoms worse.

Stay Cool in the Pool
Swimming and water aerobics are great low impact activities for those with joint or back pain.
Stay Nourished
Eat in-season fruits with antioxidants to fight inflammation.
Stay Active

Don’t become sedentary during vacation. Take early morning or evening walks when the temperature is cooler and take advantage of the fitness room if your hotel or resort offers one.

To learn more about possible treatments for chronic pain and to schedule your consultation, visit or call 706-842-6800.

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