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CRPS & The Effects Of Hot Weather

It is no secret that extreme weather can worsen symptoms of CRPS. As well as cold weather, hot weather can also have a negative impact on the wellbeing of sufferers. Read this blog to find out more and learn how to cope.

 

Recently, a heatwave swept across the UK, bringing temperatures of 20 degrees celsius and over. Extreme weather conditions can worsen symptoms for CRPS sufferers. In past blogs, we have discussed the ways in which cold weather can affect CRPS sufferers. In this blog we are focusing on the topic of hot weather, the symptoms it causes and tips to educate you on how you can better cope when the temperatures begin to soar.

 

Although not yet proven, hot weather does have an impact on CRPS. This is something that has been supported by sufferers worldwide, with many experiencing explosive burning pain which has apparent similarities to fireworks or nuclear missiles, as described in this blog post written by Australian sufferer, Caf.

 

On hot days, it is very hard to avoid the heat. Even inside, there is very little relief unless you have an air-conditioning system installed, which is rare for homes within the UK. As a result, it is unfortunately very likely that CRPS sufferers will experience some or all of the symptoms listed below.

 

  • More intense burning pain in the affected area
  • Increased discomfort
  • Extreme skin sensitivity to the sunlight
  • Swelling in the affected area or around the body
  • Inflammation in the affected area
  • Migraines or headaches
  • Stiff, achy joints
  • Nausea

 

The slightest difference in weather can set any of the above severe symptoms off. The reason still remains a mystery but it is suspected to be associated with atmospheric changes, as well as changes in air pressure.

 

So, whether you are heading on a summer holiday with your family or you just want to know how to protect yourself from experiencing further pain during the summer months in the UK, take note of our tips on how to cope listed below.

 

 

  • Stay indoors or in the shade. If you are in the UK and the temperature begins to rise, try to stay indoors as much as possible. Only venture outside if necessary; inside, you will be out of the sun and much cooler. Naturally, if you are vacationing, the last thing you will want to do is stay inside. However, when outside, make sure to stay in the shade. Take a chair in the shade and ensure you have an umbrella handy while relaxing around the pool.
  • Remember to refuel. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and keep your energy level up with healthy snacks and meals. Try to stay away from sugar and salt, as this will dehydrate you further in the heat. Opt for fresh fruit and enjoy your meals with plenty of vegetables to ensure you get the nutrients you need to battle with the heat.
  • Dress appropriately. It goes without saying that to stay cool, you need to dress cool. Avoid layers and dark colours, such as black and navy, as they will absorb the heat and make you feel much hotter. Stay cool by wearing light colours, particularly white, and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Give cooling products a try. Invest in something to keep yourself cool whilst on-the-go, such as a mini fan or facial water spray.
  • Distract yourself. This tip will be easier if you are holidaying but it is important to distract yourself from thinking too much how hot you are. Have a stash of DVDs or a new TV series at the ready.
  • Keep moving. Without overdoing it, make sure you continue moving as much as possible to prevent stiff, painful joints. Be gentle and don’t strain yourself; instead, take part in light movements or exercises such as yoga or meditation.

 

 

The effects of hot weather can be particularly problematic for CRPS sufferers. By following the above steps, extreme symptoms can be alleviated and in some cases avoided completely. If you are reading this blog and have been diagnosed with CRPS, it is important for you to remember that we are not medical experts and therefore cannot provide medical advice. However, if you are experiencing worsened pain and symptoms as a result of changes in the weather, then we would recommend consulting with your doctor.

We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.

 

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5 responses to “CRPS & The Effects Of Hot Weather

  1. Yes I have noticed the connection with heat , I’ve been in agony for 4 weeks, yesterday it cooled down and my condition wasn’t as bad

  2. I have been an RSD (CRPS)warrior for 10yrs now. Mine was created from a surgery mishap. My first flare was at Disney Land walking in the heat of 90plus. Full sun. I was sricken down for 2weeks. Had to take an emergency flight out of Florida back home. I am from USA Northern peninsula. We are known for harsh winters of 6-7 mths. Cold is very hard on me,no matter how warm I am wrapped. It grabs the bone and pulls and pulls. I call it deep bone pain with spasms(lions knawing at my legs). Heat I can rarely take. I love the sun. When I sit uncovered my original affected limb throbs,burns,swells,redness,pain. Electricity turns up in the arms. Both arms (traveled to left from someone grabbing my neck,(during baptism)after he was warned to not grab my neck. In the sun I basically start boiling.
    Which is the evilest of the two? Depends on what season I’m in. Honestly. Its all horrible. We experience 90 humidity in the summer,winter 69 to 90 (tons of snow). But to live in the Uk. To live in one climate full time would be unbearable at many points. To live in the US say in the state of Arizona between Nov to April would be ideal. The humidity is very low,lower then 45%. This has been advised to me by many doctors/Neuro. Even year round as the humidity stays relatively low…soars to 120 degrees for mths..but no humidity. Hmm..sounds good right? Who can afford this? Not 90% of us as we have lost our jobs to this radical disease. And those on disability know poverty,which won’t allow for traveling and cost of relocating. So we look at anothers,like the UK and realize I do not suffer as much as my temps are slightly lower in heat and air conditioning is a common thing,and after ten yrs I was able to afford one at $160.00. Can’t imagine the cost in UK.
    So fellow suffers,try to count your blessings because when you do,they will start to multiply. You just made it happen for me after reading your article. Thus, Relieving some of this obnoxious,torturing flare that has kept me in bed for four days now,all because I decided to gamble and experience life again,by taking a four day vacation trip. I put it off for a reason. But I don’t like being told no you shouldnt,or you know what it will do to you. Will it be worth it? Well ask me when I’m out of this flare and I will probably say it was worth it. (As long as this flare doesn’t last any longer then my vaction,which I’m knocking on that door:) It’s always a gamble,so I guess I’m addicted,cuz I’ll always push my self into smaller flares. Not knowingly the bigs ones which can come out of the blue,just like that! Scheduled plans ruined. But I will always make plans always. You have to,I use not to. I know I’m a prisoner in this body but sometimes I have the key. For me it’s knowing I made the plans,knowing when to say no,knowing when to cut it short,knowing when it’s that important to you and doing it,knowing the outcome. I call the shots that way. After ten yrs of RSD (CRPS)I can be the one who brings joy into my heart just by knowing. My heart goes out to all of you who suffer. Don’t let it take your joy,that is one thing you can control. When I strapped to bed,I remember the good times I’ve had and good times to follow. Just know! Trust me. Try it!

  3. Most definitely does effect the complications that arises from Crps. Over the past 5 years I’ve closely monitored this with dates, photos and travel location that are different to my home town or simply change in barometer even altitude. With Crps unfortunately we need to plan our day and travel as an extra expense is always a factor, although importanty still live a life to the best we can.

  4. yesterday I found out the hard way that the sun is not my friend when it is beating down on my effected CRPS leg!! Sure wish I had know this or read this yesterday before I went out. I noticed about 20-30 minutes of direct light I was in awful pain. I was in pain before but chalked it up as “normal pain” however when it became more intense and worse I realized it was the sun beating on my leg/foot.. Day late reading this article! Add that to the rest of the things that bother my leg… cold, air, vibration, touch, can’t wear socks or shoes and now the sunlight!! UGH!!!

  5. Hello from the USA! It’s amazing reading your blogs and how we are all the same. I’ve had RSD full body for 25+ years. We’ve had the hottest summer in our recorded history. Today was 92°F and felt like 100°F. It seems like we all suffer with the same symptoms! Incredible isn’t it?! Mine flares up with extremes, too hot or too cold. Our body’s are like barometers. In heat zI feel like I’m in a vice-grip, tightening more each time the temp rises. Tighter and tighter! We have extreme humidity that’s as if it was chocking your body. It’s like breathing under watet! Every single person I know here is feeling the same. If I’m in the sun it feels like my skin is frying in oil. No amount of sunscreen helps that. Do you get blotches on your skin? Then itches like you want to peel your skin off! I feel something like an electrical current is running through my limbs. And the swelling! Good Lord make it stop! If it all stoppef for 5 minutes I’d probably think I was dead! Cursed disease! Thanks for reading this and sharing. God bless us all!

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