It’s always assumed that heat helps arthritis. Which is often true, I’ve posted before about how much a hot bath and heated body scrubs help me on bad days. However, when it’s beer garden weather and everyone gets their nips out, I’m often unable to stay outside for too long.
This is because active arthritic joints are warm anyway because of sciencey things like synovial fluid and increased blood flow.
So yes, basking in the sun is fabulous for about 10 minutes providing I’m not moving. Then it’s just a faff and it hurts. Also a lot of things associated with summer kill me. Like beer, ice cream, fish and chips etc.
I’m okay with suffering a little bit to have beach days with my pals and pints in the sun. I’m just trying to challenge the misconceptions that chronic pain and the heat mix. At least not for me.
But I’m lucky in that one of my best friends has a baby, and everything with a baby is slow and shaded. This benefits me not only because I love Emily & Aria (my friend and her baby) but also because slow works for me too.
So if you have a friend who is a chronic pain warrior like me, make sure you understand some things;
1. Staying in the sun with your spoonie friend is awesome, but don’t expect them to be playing extreme sports unless you want to put them out of commission for a good few days.
2. Hydrate your mates. 2 litres a day at least. This applies to everyone not just those with inflammatory illnesses. But yknow, it’s good to know.
3. If they’re not wearing summer clothes, don’t judge them. My swollen joints make my shoulders, elbows, wrists etc look like lumpy red balloons. Body conciousness is a whole other topic for another time, but this is one of the many reasons why someone with chronic pain might hide from the sun.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this other fun rant about arthritis. I hope it has opened your mind to a lesser talked about topic.
Kindly and painfully,
P.s. enjoy the picture of Mac loving the sun. He’s grumpy too, like me.