#CreakyChats Cloudy with a Chance of Pain

Experiencing pain and discomfort is something many of us with chronic illness know all too well. It’s not just about feeling it physically; it can also take a toll on our emotions, leaving us feeling out of sorts and overwhelmed. And let’s not forget how it can throw a wrench into our day-to-day activities, making it harder to do the things we love and rely on.

Recently, in one of our #CreakyChats sessions titled “Cloudy with a Chance of Pain,” our amazing community members came together to swap stories and share tips on navigating joint pain and flare-ups during seasonal shifts. We delved into everything from helpful strategies to manage symptoms to finding little pockets of relief to exploring alternative therapies. It was a real hive of support and wisdom — check out some of the responses below.

Managing Joint Pain and Flares During Seasonal Changes

“I lean more toward heat therapy (heating pad/blanket, warm baths) during the cooler months than cold therapy (ice packs, cold showers) when the temps are extremely hot out.” — @authorjpsummers

“I’ve just now been starting to get joint pain and have been finding stretching has made things a little easier. Migraine flare ups when the weather changes is a different story as I just try to make sure I’m stocked up on ice packs and heat pads.” — @migrainesallday

“Having a warm sweater, compression gloves, and heating pad is helpful.” — @Dividivigirl

Finding Activities That Provide Symptom Relief

“Chair yoga.” — @Lin18864674

“The last several years I’ve been concentrating on hiking while taking photos. Photography helps focus my mind on the now, which means I can enjoy the scenery more. The hiking improves my cardio, which I’ve found raises my pain endurance abilities.” — @abrewi3010

“Pilates and Essentrics has saved me. I attribute the improvement in my bone density two years on to the 3x/week classes I have been taking.” — @gynecka

Alternative Therapies and Complementary Approaches

“Mindfulness helps me. It doesn’t take away pain but helps me focus and lessens pain some.” — @Dividivigirl

“Mindful meditation addressing pain and provides some mild relief. Massage helped but no longer covered by insurance. Paraffin bath for my hands does help.” — @Lin18864674

“Sometimes music, heating pad, and a weighted blanket can be just the right amount of cocoon I need. It doesn’t get rid of the pain but puts me in a more relaxed state.” — @migrainesallday

Paying Attention to Other Symptoms

“Swelling and stiffness happen often while on hikes, especially in my replaced hips. Dehydration is another symptom — I seem to go from normal to sweating salt in a New-York minute, which puts me behind in water consumption.” — @abrewi3010

“Usually, the swelling accompanies the joint pain. I rarely get redness, but 50 percent of the time, my fibromyalgia or RA flare-ups will lead to a migraine attack causing my entire body to struggle and take almost a day, possibly two to bounce back.” — @authorjpsummers

“Swelling, stiffness, and soreness.” — @Lin18864674

Managing the Stress That Accompanies Your Symptoms

“If I’m feeling #stressed, I head outdoors… Nothing like some fresh air to clear my head and ease my mind. Oh, and sometimes chocolate does the trick. Shhhhh! LOL.” — @jointjourneys

“I’m still trying to get the hang of managing stress. I know some days it can be hard when you’re in pain, but just the simple fact of finding things that make you smile or laugh make a little difference. If that happens to be in the form of memes, then so be it.” — @migrainesallday

“Typically, I will head to the trails or the gym to manage stress. Fresh air, sun, or some gym sweat helps put almost any stress into better perspective. Not sure if this is medically accurate but stress seems to be a dehydrator for me. Dehydration sets off the RA.” — @abrewi3010

Join Our Monthly #CreakyChats 

Our monthly, patient-driven X (formally Twitter) discussion, #CreakyChats, explores topics that are important to the chronic disease community. During a one-hour moderated chat, we provide a space for people to discuss pressing issues facing the arthritis/chronic disease community. You don’t need to be an X-pro to join.   

During #CreakyChats we encourage everyone to share their strengths, challenges, and experiences — that is how we can help and support people as they navigate life with chronic disease.   

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