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Whether the Weather, There Are Challenges

I have written before about the different challenges summer and winter bring to my RLS. However, now that I'm on pregabalin, some of those same challenges may no longer be an issue for me.

As spring approaches, I am excited about being able to go outside for walks in nature. Currently, the weather is good enough to go out walking, but there is a bad dust advisory right now because of all the dirt on the roads from winter. There have been a couple of days so far where, after a rain, the dust advisory would end and I was able to get out for a walk, but not too many.

Winter cold makes my RLS more painful

I can feel the ache in some muscles in my legs and hips starting around this time of the year from not being able to walk as much during the winter months. It’s in the same spots I experienced muscle atrophy 10 years ago. Before pregabalin, this would make my RLS more painful and more prone to acting up. I would start to feel antsier as a result, the urge to walk getting more intense. It would gnaw away at my brain, adding stress and irritation to the whole ordeal.

Now, thankfully, it’s just the muscle ache that I am experiencing because of being on pregabalin. The cold temperatures also bothered my RLS, making attacks more intense. I think the pregabalin has helped it not be an issue, but I haven’t been exposed to cold temperatures as often since changing to it, so I don’t know for sure.

Summer heat and low-impact exercise

Summer is probably going to be another hot one; hopefully, we don’t get that horrible heat dome again. I am hoping that because I am on pregabalin, it won’t be hellish on my RLS. I live in an area that’s called a rain shadow, so we don’t get much rain, which especially sucks during the summer. (A rain shadow is an area of significantly reduced rainfall behind a mountain, on the side facing away from prevailing winds).1

On top of not being able to walk as much because of how hot the temperature gets, the heat in general also bothers my RLS. As with cold temperatures, too hot of a temperature has the same painful intensifying effect. The one advantage that summer has is being able to go to the lake for low-impact exercises. Sometimes that’s a light swim, other times it’s just trying to keep your balance as the waves from passing boats crash into you. I had started going to the pool prior to COVID for low-impact exercises to help my RLS, but being immunocompromised, that’s not an option for me now.

Changes in barometric pressure

Then there is the whole barometric pressure side of things for me. My RLS would act up when there was a barometric pressure change happening. My husband experiences something similar; he gets nasty migraines when there are barometric pressure changes. It seems like pregabalin is also helping in this area.

Do you find different seasons bring about different challenges for your RLS? Or are you someone where it doesn’t matter what season it is?

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