I live in Chicago and sometimes feel like we experience winter year round! For the last few weeks, it has been very cold (single digits), rainy, and damp and I have noticed my pain level has gone up drastically plus I am very stiff, especially in the morning.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get through this? I have had several nerve blocks and take several meds throughout the day. I'm hoping someone has some "home remedy" stuff that has worked for them.
There are a couple of things that have worked for me and some of the rsders I know.
Part of the extra pain is because most people with rsd have a huge sensitivity towards cold air and of course that is usually worse during winter months.
It's very important to keep what ever body areas are effected by the rsd warm and sometimes warmer than the rest of you would like.
You can do this through electric blankets,heating pads and also warmer softer clothing like micro fleece. My sensitivity is so high that I have to wear micro fleece and use these things year round or I pay for it through extra pain,muscle spasms and quite a bit of stiffness.
Some people can use heat raps to also help when going out side to keep warm,they have these heat raps over the counter for most any of your limbs and even your back.
Some people don't do well with them because some of them are sticky like a bandaid and can be very painful to take off. It just depends on your special rsd needs.
There are retail stores that sell car inverters to plug in a heating pad and this can be very handy when having to go outside during a cold and or wet day.
Other than that I can't give to much advice other than keep your body warm as much as possible. That may even have to include not going outside when the weather is bad. This can be hard when having things outside the home come up but you may want to think about limiting your outings. Try and fit things into a one day outing every couple or even few weeks. If you have some one that can run to the store for you,let them.
It can be very hard especially emotionally having other people go outside for you but when the rsd doesn't want to it's not always the best thing to make it.
Dealing with the cold and wetness outside when your rsd really doesn't want to can not only bring you extra pain but also pain that may not settle back down for days. It can give you flare ups to the point that even if you wanted to you can't go anywhere.
My rsd doc told me along time ago that not only would heat be my best friend(which it is) but that ignoring that and going out when I know I shouldn't can cause flare ups that after some time can lead to spreading of the rsd.
Some times you have to have that mind set,is going outside or dealing with being cold really worth making myself worse and having more pain?
If you have anymore questions please don't hesitate to ask. It can be so hard in winter for us rsders to get to feel normal and go out and play,lol
I live in the pacific northwest and we have hard winters most years. This year hasn't been to bad but most years we get in least a minimum of 6 to 10 feet of snow,and it drops feets at a time. I know what you are going through dealing with the horrors of winter and it can be very stressful. I hope I've been of some help.
Take care and STAY WARM,
I agree with Deanne on the heat - I use a heating pad ALL the time when I am sitting down. Long silk underwear is also wonderful! Lands End and LL Bean have a few different styles in their catalogs, I bought some when they were on sale last year. I also love cotton turtleneck sweaters, fur lined Crocs and Ugg boots.
My strategy with RSD has been to never stop walking outdoors on a daily basis unless the weather is truly horrific. Most days my dog and I log between 3 and 5 miles. When it is cold I bundle up with long underwear, flannel lined jeans, layers of tops, and a long wool coat that comes almost to the ground with a pair of Uggs. I LOVE being outside and my walks are very therapeutic for me. The only days we don't go out are when it's raining too hard or its really, really cold (like 10 degrees!).
My head, neck and right shoulder are the worst for me for RSD pain. My feet and right leg, and just recently, my left leg, can also be painful. Cold wet windy weather is the absolute pits and definitely makes me feel sicker. One of my sisters lives in Chicago and the cold there is really intense - I think you have it a whole colder there in the midst of winter than I have it here in RI. So perhaps on those single digit days when the wind is hooting you have to avoid being outdoors altogether. And if you do go out, make sure you are wrapped up well - multiple layers, scarves, hat, etc.
I know what you are talking about with the cold. I am the same way as are most of us. What I get the most relief from is a hot bath. When I'm not in the tub I use heating pad and electric blanket almost constantly. Those three help with my pain more than anything else I've tried.
I have an electric mattress pad on my bed that keeps it nice and toasty. I picked it up at WalMart of $50.00. I also have a heating pad by my favorite chair and polar fleece blanket. I find polar fleece one of the best thing to keep me warm. They also sell electric throws you can use in a chair.
I would stay in on the really cold days. Find one room, the warmest room in the house to occupy and then hibernate. I live in Florida and I wear gloves in the grocery store in summertime. I also wear sweaters year round.