Tips for Comfortably Traveling with Chronic Pain This Summer


May 4, 2023

For people with chronic pain, it can be stressful to travel. You never know when a flare-up will occur, which can be anxiety-inducing. However, summer travel doesn’t have to be a burden when you’re living with chronic pain. Traveling with chronic pain is possible. Here’s what you need to know:

How Chronic Pain Can Be Affected or Worsened by Travel

If you’re someone with chronic pain, you might wonder why you feel worse when you’re traveling. Of course, this will vary depending on the person, but oftentimes, the culprit is that you’re sitting for an extended period. Because traveling comes with long car rides and flying, your body will be in one position for hours at a time. This leads to stiffness, and in turn, more pain.

Moreover, traveling might increase the amount of pain you experience because traveling causes increased stress levels. Whether you’re stressed out because of your chronic pain, or because you’re on a trip with your small children, or because it’s stressful to be in a new place, oftentimes with stress comes more pain. Therefore, your pain levels will increase when you’re stressed and traveling.

Ways to Comfortably Travel with Chronic Pain

The key to being comfortable while traveling with chronic pain is planning ahead. Understand the itinerary of your trip, before you embark on your journey. Knowing the route, departure time, and information about your accommodations makes you less likely to be as stressed. This will help reduce the pain levels you experience.

However, understanding your itinerary can also help you plan ahead. If you know that sitting triggers your chronic pain, then you can plan times to get up and walk around. Whether you move in the airport or stop at a rest spot, you can plan to move.

How to Reduce Pain and Enjoy Summer Travels

If you’re prepared, you can reduce the pain you experience and have fun on vacation. Bring all of the medications and amenities that reduce your pain. You might bring a heating pad or a neck pillow. Whatever you need to help you feel better, bring it with you. Also, if you’re flying, ensure that you don’t overpack your carry-on, because you don’t want to be carrying heavy luggage around the airport. Finally, choose luggage that won’t cause you more pain. Make sure you can roll your baggage if that’s easier. If you’re traveling with other people, ask for help if you need it.

Southeast Pain & Spine Care believes that it is possible to travel without being completely burdened by chronic pain. We’re committed to providing our patients with the care they need, so fill out this form below to learn more about our services.

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