Combating the Challenges of Summer for Amputees
Ah, summer. Once the weather reaches up over 75 degrees, it’s hard to think of anything better than spending lazy days on the beach, at the lake, or by the pool. Or, for the more active among us, there may be nothing better than swimming laps or competing in a triathlon. To be sure you enjoy summer to its fullest, without discomfort, we’ve outlined a few adjustments you may wish to make as temperatures rise.
For amputees, summer activities, especially on the beach or in the water, can come with their own set of challenges. First, there is sand to contend with. Sand can easily sneak into the sensitive areas of prosthetic limbs, especially in the mechanical components, causing damage and decreased functionality. To avoid the potential for sand to sneak into these areas, it is important to cover your prosthesis with a socket cover, and be sure all mechanical areas are enclosed.
Other challenges that amputees contend with during the hot summer months are those that affect the body when temperatures rise. Amputees may experience swelling in their body which can affect the fit of their prosthesis throughout the day. To lessen this effect, it is important to discuss your planned summer activities with your prosthetist, and adjustments can be made to ensure your comfort and functionality in the most extreme temperatures. Amputees may also notice that as they sweat, their prosthesis may slip or chafe their skin. As with swelling, the effects of sweating can be lessened with some minor adjustments to your prosthesis; so be sure to discuss this with your prosthetist during fittings.
By scheduling regular appointments with your prosthetist and providing plenty of information about your planned activities and comfort, you’ll be sure to enjoy those long summer days to the fullest and get the most out of every activity.
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