Depending on whom you ask about joint pain, you may get that old adage “Joint pain is a young man’s game and an old man’s pain.” But if you ask a high school football player, cheerleader, or a middle-aged crossing guard or secretary, pain does not discriminate and anyone can suffer from chronic pain. Joint pain is a challenging condition to live with, but it shouldn’t deter you from enjoying your favorite pastimes, including traveling.
Don’t let the fear of having a chronic pain flare stop you from living when you don’t have to. Take a look at these tips for traveling with chronic pain and stop putting your life on hold.
Tips For Traveling with Joint Pain
Tip 1 — Always Be Prepared
Who knows your body better than you? No One. Exactly, no one knows your body better, and because of that, you know what triggers your flare-ups and how to minimize or avoid them. So when traveling is on your calendar for January, and you know that your chronic pain starts or worsens when it’s cold, you know to pack some gloves, cozy socks, sweaters, etc. Now, if hot or cold wraps help with your pain, you want to be sure to pack that as well.
Purchase and pack everything that you may need, and don’t just assume that you can purchase certain things once you reach your destination, remember that things don’t always work out as planned.
Tip 2 — Stay On Top Of Your Bookings
Know all the ins and outs of your trip booking, such as:
- If flying, book an aisle seat or a seat that allows you extra legroom.
- If you have medications that need to be kept cool, you may want to ask for a room with a refrigerator.
- Try to reserve a hotel room near the elevator or on the bottom floor to minimize your walk to and from your room.
- Learn what amenities are offered at your chosen hotel. If you’ve had a challenging day, then a nice hot soaking tub could just do the trick to help put you and some of your pain at ease.
Although these may seem like trivial little things, when you live with chronic pain, there’s no such thing as trivial. You need to make sure that you’re prepared with all of your medications and comfort items, like your heating pad, Epsom salt etc.
Tip 3 — Two Is Better Than One
If you have back pain, pack a support pillow for your back, if you use a cane sometimes, then pack that too, just in case. Little things like this can end up being lifesavers on your trip. You may also want to consider traveling with a friend or relative, making sure that they know your condition and medications (if applicable). Traveling with someone is also much more fun, too.
Tip 4- Make Sure Your Medications are Within Arm’s Reach
If you regularly take prescription medication, you need to always keep them in your purse or carry-on bag, but do not pack them with your checked baggage. If for some reason your mode of transportation is delayed, and it’s time to take your medicine, good thing it’s not in checked baggage. Or what about if your baggage gets lost, and all your medicine is in there, Oh No! So it’s better to be safe than sorry. However, you do hope that none of those situations occur.
IMPORTANT: Make sure that all of your medication that you travel with is in its original packaging, is labeled by the pharmacy, and has your full name printed on it.
Tip 5- Healthy Eating Matters
One of the best things about traveling is tasting all the different foods that are a part of traveling. However, you must be mindful that you need to eat healthy. Consider choosing restaurants focused on healthy eating, packing some healthy snacks in your carry bag, drinking lots of water to stay hydrated, and being lenient on caffeine and alcohol, as they can irritate inflammation and cause you to become dehydrated.
Traveling with joint pain definitely doesn’t need to be rough-and-tumble. Having some foresight and planning your trip can be great. If you’re living with chronic joint pain and have not been able to find long-lasting relief, contact us today. The team at Southeast Pain & Spine Care looks forward to helping you live your best life — happily and with less pain. In the meantime, take a look at our blog over here, and follow us on Twitter right here.