Traveling with Arthritis

Sun, sand, and surf-what could be more fun than that? For arthritis sufferers, even going on a dream vacation can be stressful and painful. While most people go away on vacation to relax and forget about their troubles, arthritis patients often find that they must carry their troubles with them. The pain and stiffness associated with most forms of arthritis can put quite a damper on even the sunniest vacation getaways. If you suffer from arthritis you are probably very well acquainted with the trouble with traveling. Sitting in a cramped airplane seat can take its toll on your body. Long car trips can also cause significant pain and stress. The jet lag, increased walking, and hotel room mattresses only serve to further exacerbate the pain of arthritis. You may be asking yourself right about now why you should even consider a vacation if it will cause you this much discomfort. The truth is that we all need to get away every once in a while, to spend time with our family and friends and get a break from the normal workaday routine. Here are some tips that will help make your next vacation as pain-free and comfortable as possible.

For long car trips, try to avoid becoming the designated driver. Driving requires staying in the same position for an extended period of time, and this can mean pain for your joints and muscles. Even if you think you are feeling OK and up for the long drive, it’s best not to take the risk. Bring along pillows and neck support devices for the long drive. Plan on stopping throughout the day to stretch and move about. You want to avoid locking your body into the genera same position for hours at a time. If possible, travel in a vehicle that is roomy enough to allow you to move your body around and put your feet up. Bring blankets to position your body into comfortable positions. Also, beware of the cold blast of air from the air conditioning. You should avoid having the cold air blasting directly on you. The shot of cold air can greatly increase the symptoms of arthritis.

If you are traveling by air, there are several steps you can take to make your trip as comfortable for you as possible. You should try to make your reservations as early as possible. Request an aisle seat assignment, if possible. This will allow you to move around during the flight. Again, you should avoid staying in a cramped, locked position for the length of your trip. If possible, try to request a seat just behind the bulkhead. This will give you even more room to move about, and to stretch your feet out comfortably. Before you board your flight, use the skycaps to carry your luggage. Avoid over packing. Eventually you will probably have to lug around your baggage yourself, so you should pack as lightly as possible. If you find yourself having trouble, do not hesitate in requesting a motorized car or wheelchair.