Patients affected by rheumatic diseases usually experience an improvement in their condition during the summer, thanks to the heat and the absence of sudden variations in atmospheric pressure that characterize this season. Among the most benefited by the arrival of the summer season are people who have osteoporosis as a result of a deficit of vitamin D, since an exposure to sunlight facilitates the synthesis of this vitamin so necessary for bones.

Dr. Jesus Tornero, head of the Rheumatology Service of the University Hospital of Guadalajara, explains that heat facilitates the treatment of inflammation -one of the main symptoms of this type of pathology-, and potentiates the analgesic effect of some therapies. And he adds that it also favors the dilation of blood vessels, which helps relieve back pain and improve muscle contractures.

Lack of travel mobility especially affects people with rheumatic diseases

However, ultraviolet rays can be harmful for other patients, such as those suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), because in this case solar radiation can trigger an outbreak of the disease and photosensitive reactions that cause symptoms such as fever, rashes in the skin, inflammation and pain in the joints, fatigue ... These patients should not sunbathe and they have to apply creams with sun protection factor when going to be outdoors.

Recommendations for travel

The specialists of the Spanish Society of Rheumatology (SER) have disseminated some recommendations so that those affected by rheumatic diseases are more comfortable during the usual trips at this time, and to minimize the inconvenience that may cause them. The lack of mobility during hours is one of the main problems that arise in a trip, therefore, from the SER advise these patients to make stops (when the journey is by car or bus) to be able to walk and perform stretches and push-ups. In this way, blood circulation is facilitated and the formation of clots that could lead to venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism is prevented.

Experts advise that you make stops for walking and doing stretches and push-ups

In air travel, you also have to take a series of precautions, which are summarized in comfortable and loose clothing, get up and walk every so often, drink liquid regularly to stay hydrated, and perform a series of exercises with your feet and legs. legs to promote blood circulation.

Dr. Tornero has taken the opportunity to remember the need for people with rheumatic diseases to practice physical exercise, key to tone muscles, provide stability to the joints, stimulate bone formation, avoid obesity and improve agility. Among the activities specially recommended, and that each patient must adapt to their age and physical condition, swimming, walks and articular gymnastics stand out.

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Source: Spanish Society of Rheumatology (SER)

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