It's always exciting to plan a trip for the summer, whether it's a family visit or a weekend getaway. For people managing arthritis pain, the thought of long distance travel can be unsettling. Here are some tips for a pain free vacation.
Riding in a car for an extended period of time can contribute to joint stiffness and swelling, so plan stops every hour or so to stretch. If long-distance traveling seems intimidating, start with short trips until you and your travel team are ready for a longer trip.
For jet-setters, consider packing medication in a carry-on bag or pill tote. Walking up and down the aisles, in addition to stretching, is a great way to help avoid joint stiffness. Try pushing instead of pulling rolling luggage to avoid additional shoulder strain.
If you are going to be spending large amounts of time in a seat (be it car, plane, train, etc.), it's important to make sure it's comfortable. Products such as Thumper Flexor Pro
are a great option and can be strapped onto any car seat for additional lumbar support. Wagan's Ortho Wedge
seat cushion can also be placed on top of any seat to provide additional comfort and support.
Be sure to keep these easy stretch suggestions from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in mind for any extended travels :
- Raise and lower your shoulders a few times, and then rotate them in circles.
- Tilt your head gently to the right and then to the left; then turn your head slowly to each side.
- Stretch your arms in front of you, then out to the side, and finally toward your back, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Make a fist with both hands; then open your hands and separate your fingers as far apart as you can.
- Rotate your ankles, and then flex them a few times.
Harrison, M. (2009, Nov 10). Have arthritis, will travel. ("How to get there: Air travel"). Retrieved from http://www.hss.edu/conditions_have-arthritis-will-travel.asp
2Arthritis special report: Arthritis on the go.
("Simple Arthritis Stretching Exercises"). (2006, April 12). Retrieved from http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts.com/reports/arthritis/374-1.html
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