How to Enjoy Summer in Asheville with Your Artificial Limb

How to Enjoy Summer in Asheville with Your Artificial Limb

Sunday, 23 May 2021 21:59

Asheville is one of the best places in which to live or visit in North Carolina. There is so much to do here it is almost impossible to get experience it all in the season. From hiking and mountain biking to whitewater rafting and fishing, the city is within just a short drive of almost any outdoor activity imaginable. While it gets pretty warm here, we do not experience the same extreme heat as places like Greenville and Charlotte. We also get a break from the sweltering, oppressive humidity associated with the South. When the mercury does climb to uncomfortable levels in the valleys, people in the area know they can go to some of the higher elevation areas or take a dip in one of the cold-water swimming holes. Our area has the highest concentrations of waterfalls, natural swimming areas east of the Mississippi River. 

If you have an artificial limb, you have unique challenges to getting around; however, you can definitely still make the most of summer in our beautiful area. In this article, we want to help you have a great summer here in Asheville. 

What You Need to Know About Your Prosthesis During Summer

There are a number of things to think about before heading out into the mountains. For those with limb difference, however, you always have a longer list of considerations. If you are doing any sort of outdoor activity, you need to make sure you have plenty of water, filling snacks, bug protection, and first aid supplies. If you have an artificial limb, here are some additional factors to consider:

Sweating: Even though Asheville is cooler than the foothills and piedmont, it can still be quite warm and humid. If you have limb loss, that means you may not be sweating as much as your body needs, so it is vital to make sure you are staying hydrated and regulating your body temperature. 

Energy: Most amputees are exerting more energy than others when they are doing outdoor activities. You must be conscious of this. You will need to keep more food and water around than your peers. 

Water: Sand and saltwater can corrode your prosthetic device. In Asheville, you do not need to worry much about saltwater; however, for swimming holes and pools, you will need to take extra precautions with your artificial limb. Your options include:

  • Using an older prosthetic device that you do not mind damaging. 
  • Investing in a waterproof artificial limb. 
  • Attaching a waterproof cover to your prosthetic device. 
  • Detaching the artificial limb while you are in the water. 

Swelling: Heat can make our limbs and joints swell. Unfortunately, that swelling can make your prosthetic device uncomfortable. If you experience any discomfort or anticipate being outdoors throughout the summer months, you may need to reach out to your doctors and device developer for recommendations and adjustments. 

Maintenance: Whether you have been on a wilderness adventure or just explored downtown Asheville during the heat of summer, you are going to want to make sure you follow all recommended maintenance instructions closely. You also need to make sure you frequently and thoroughly clean the residual limb, especially after a day of sweating. 

How to Enjoy Summer in Asheville

Now that you are ready to use your artificial limb safely during the summer, here are some activities you might enjoy during the season:

  • Hiking: There are countless trails and trail systems in our area. Hikes range from short loops such as Craggy Gardens and Linville Falls to lengthy through-hikes along the Appalachian Trail. Before you hike, research the trail system, download a map, and make sure you are aware of your fitness level. 
  • Cycling and Mountain Biking: There are dozens of mountain bike trail systems and parks in our area. You can often find videos of the trails to gauge the difficulty before you drop in. If asphalt is your preference, we also have miles of greenways and bike-friendly roads. 
  • Watersports: Before you hop in a kayak or in a raft, make sure you have clearance from your doctor and prosthetic device developer. However, whether you choose to waterproof your limb or just go without, there are plenty of lakes, rivers, and creeks to enjoy. 
  • Food and Shopping: You can go downtown, to West Asheville, south Asheville, or one of the many charming mountain towns to explore the premier shopping and food scene in our region. 
  • Music: We have some of the best music venues anywhere in the South. As we continue to recover from the pandemic, more and more live music is being scheduled. 

If you are ready to be fitted for your very own artificial limb, we would love to talk to you more. We work with your doctors and rehabilitation team to design the perfect prosthetic device to fit your specific needs. We want to make sure you can enjoy Asheville all summer and throughout the year. Contact us for more information about the highest quality artificial limbs