Women who have joint pain should take extra care and precautions when traveling.
The question that frequently arises is, “What can I do before and during the flight to make traveling more comfortable?”
Things to do Before flying…
- Consult your doctor to ensure you have enough medication for the duration of your trip, plus a little extra in case of lost luggage or a delay. If you have a long flight, inquire whether you would benefit from additional prescription-strength pain medication.
- Call the airline ahead of time to let them know you have a medical condition. They should be able to provide you with wheelchair assistance and early boarding if you give them enough notice.
- Allow airline personnel to carry your luggage and/or lift it into the overhead bin on your behalf. They can even provide special shuttles and elevator platforms for boarding. Choose flight tickets when there are fewer people on board and more room for you to stretch out or get up to walk. Also, choose an aisle seat so you can stretch or get up and move around more easily during the flight.
- Choose a flight that requires you to get up very early, especially if your joints are achy in the morning.
During the Flight…
- Carry over-the-counter pain relievers with you to use during the flight. Take it one hour before your flight to allow it to enter your system.
- During the flight, give your joints extra support. For lower back pain, use a back roll or a pillow to provide support behind your lower back. Bring or wear a brace if you use one for your affected joint.
- Maintain proper posture while seated. When you sit in the seat, if your legs are not at a right angle, request something (pillows, blankets) to prop up your feet and keep your knees at a right angle.
- Getting up and walking around during long flights can lead to an increase in pain. According to a recent review of ten studies, people with rheumatoid arthritis are twice as likely as those who do not have RA to develop deep vein thrombosis. If your flight is longer than 4 hours, get up and walk around at least every 2 to 3 hours to help prevent deep vein thrombosis.
- Sit exercises should be practiced. This will help prevent joint stiffness while sitting during the flight and lower your risk of deep vein thrombosis.
Exercises You Can Perform While Flying…
While in flight, you can perform the following exercises:
- Raise and lower your toes while keeping your heels firmly planted on the ground.
- Raise and lower your heels while keeping your toes firmly planted on the ground.
- Tighten and relax your leg muscles.
- Lift your foot off the floor and straighten your leg until you feel it in your hamstrings if you have space.
With these key factors in mind, you can avoid joint strain and have a pleasant journey.
The Content is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions about a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider.