It is not just the heatwave; there are actually several ways how humidity and hot weather cause joint pain and muscle aches, and anyone of any size, age, or health condition may experience these pains. Because these weather conditions are prolonged in summer, the likeliness of body pains increases in this season.
These are some of the ways hotter weather exacerbates body aches and what you can do about them.
The scorching temperatures of summer make it more likely for you to get dehydrated. If you do not drink enough water for the day, your body will struggle with many essential functions, like breathing and digestion. Since these basic processes work well, you will be in pain as a result.
Water is a key component of our joints’ cartilage, so being dehydrated also leads to joint pains. Your blood also carries nutrients easier if you are well-hydrated and keeps muscles and tissues healthy.
Experts usually recommend drinking six to eight glasses of water per day. But during a heatwave, it is worth drinking more to avoid dehydration. Carry a reusable water with you and keep it filled at all times, especially if you are using public transport. Avoid substituting water with any other beverage, particularly when you are thirsty or parched.
Your choice of footwear also contributes to your summertime aches. Due to the sweltering heat, people tend to wear less on their feet to cool down, but this increases the risk of heel pain.
Sandals and flip-flops do not provide enough support to your feet. When the foot is unsupported, the plantar fascia (the thick, fibrous bands connecting the toes to the heel) is easily overused and overstretched, which leads to plantar fasciitis or heel pain. For people with flat feet, plantar fasciitis can also aggravate the pain in the knees and feet.
Wearing supportive footwear is a common and effective plantar fasciitis treatment. If you must wear sandals or flip flops, choose ones that include arch support. For shoes, you can buy orthotic shoes or place an orthotic insole to improve arch support.
Exercising in the heat also worsens plantar fasciitis, so make sure that your exercise shoes offer ample support for your level of activity. It is best to talk with your doctor or an osteopath so you can get the best shoes for your specific circumstances.
Exercising or straining your muscles in hot weather can lead to heat cramps. Its symptoms include sweating more than normal and involuntary muscle spasms in the legs, thighs, arms and abdomen.
Heat cramps are mostly attributed to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes include sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium, which are minerals important in muscle function. We lose high concentrations of electrolytes when we sweat and with it, the support our muscles need to function.
If you experience heat cramps, rest in a cool area and stretch your muscles gently. Consume electrolyte drinks when you exercise in the heat and drink lots of water.
There are a lot of causes and treatments for increased body pain during summer. But the best way to alleviate and avoid these pains is to keep yourself well-hydrated. Summer or not, drinking lots of water goes a long way in improving your health.