Squat Sets, Bar Path, and Knee Travel
8 Travel Tips for People With Knee Osteoarthritis
Travel Easier With These Pain-Relieving Tips
If you have knee osteoarthritis, traveling can be extra tricky. That’s because sitting still for long stretches of time can cause “gelling,” or noticeable stiffness that follows periods of immobility, explains Robert H. Shmerling, MD, clinical chief of the division of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Gelling is a thickening of the natural synovial fluid that lubricates and cushions your knees and other joints. The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City says that some people describe the phenomenon as a “perception of stiffness usually lasting less than 20 minutes in the affected joint.”
While Dr. Shmerling says that gelling still is only a theory — more research is needed to determine exactly what’s happening — he notes that it’s a good idea to proactively counter the joint stiffness that can occur during long periods of sitting. One of the most important ways to do this: Get up and move around at every opportunity you get, he says. Although it’s unclear how often (and for how long) you should walk around, Shmerling tells people to go for a stroll at least once every 30 minutes.
This might be harder to do when you’re traveling by car or plane, but if you’re driving, Shmerling recommends sliding your seat back as far as possible to give your legs more room to stretch. Various rental agencies also offer ways to make their cars more comfortable for people with mobility issues. If you’re the only one behind the wheel, consider leaving early and building in a few pit stops for stretching and strolling.
The Arthritis Foundation also recommends talking to either your doctor or an occupational therapist before you leave home about how long you should stay seated and what types of medications, assistive devices, and other items you should pack for your trip. (For example, not only should you bring splints, prescriptions, and hot and cold packs, but you may also want to bring “compression socks to help prevent blood clots,” the organization notes.)
The bottom line: Knee osteoarthritis pain doesn’t have to sideline your travel plans. Use these tips to prevent joint pain and stiffness on long car, train, or plane trips.
Prevent Knee-Pain Aggravation With a Good Seat
If you can swing it, try to travel in the middle of the week, when roads and airports tend to be less busy, the Arthritis Foundation suggests. When booking an airline or bus seat, look for one that offers more leg room or select a seat near the aisle. (This way, you’ll be able to get up and walk around without having to climb over your neighbors.) If you’re going a relatively short distance, consider booking a seat on a train, which doesn’t have restrictions on when you can take a stroll.
Prepare for Knee Osteoarthritis Pain Before You Leave
Taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug 30 to 45 minutes before departure can help head off some of the pain you feel after you’re stuck in an airplane seat later on, says Robert Goldfien, MD, chief of the rheumatology department at Kaiser Permanente in Richmond, California. Just be sure to talk to your doctor first, he says. Sometimes Dr. Goldfien also gives his patients a knee injection before major trips, which can proactively lessen swelling and pain. “Usually, this is in a situation where an injection has helped in the past and it’s been three or more months since any prior injection.”
Before leaving home, make sure your knee brace, foldable cane, crutch, walker, or other assistive device is in good shape. If you like to rest your knee on a special pillow for support, pop it into your travel bag — preferably one that has rollers.
“On a plane, I recommend doing gentle stretching exercises before you board your flight or buckle up,” says Goldfien.
Dress Comfortably to Avoid Triggering Knee Osteoarthritis
If you’re worried that that your knee will start to throb and ache when you’re sitting on a plane or in a car, make sure your clothing doesn’t add to your discomfort. Choose supportive shoes that won’t aggravate your knee osteoarthritis and will allow you to walk and climb stairs. Opt for loose-fitting or stretchy yoga or athletic pants while flying or riding in a train or car, suggests Melissa Lohr, MOT, OTR/L, an occupational therapist with Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City, California.
Bring Gear That Will Help You Manage Knee Osteoarthritis
If you use heat or cold therapy to ease knee pain at home, pack a travel version for your trip. Look for a dual heat-and-cold pack, Lohr suggests, and try to stay in a hotel with a hot tub or sauna. (Warm water can help ease joint pain, according to the Arthritis Foundation.)
Keep Knee Osteoarthritis in Mind As You Plan Your Day
Your knee osteoarthritis doesn’t have to interfere with your vacation — but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it, either. For example, skip the walking tours in favor of bus trips, which will allow you to see a new city while sitting down, Lohr says. Give yourself extra time to enjoy a particular area — and to take rest breaks, too.
Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods, Which May Help Ease Joint Inflammation
Don’t ditch your diet just because you’re on vacation. Make sure to keep eating inflammation-fighting foods like walnuts and cocoa, and avoid high-fat, high-calorie foods and other highly processed fare, both of which can trigger inflammation, says the Arthritis Foundation. It’s also a good idea to avoid alcohol and caffeine and to drink water regularly. For nutritious, travel-friendly snacks, try dried fruit, unsalted nuts, peanut butter, whole-grain crackers, and plain popcorn, says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If you're driving, fill a small cooler with hummus or low-fat cheese or yogurt.
Thomas Barwick/Getty Images
Monitor Your Exercise to Avoid Triggering Joint Pain
Changing up your workout routine while you’re traveling can worsen your knee pain. “Don’t push yourself too hard,” Lohr says. “Try to keep the same exercise schedule you are used to at home.” Pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes if you’ll be doing a lot of sightseeing and walking, and be sure to stretch at the beginning and end of the day.
But keep in mind that “moving is better than not moving,” Shmerling says. Let your symptoms guide you, he says.
Ronnie Kaufman &LarryHirshowitz/GettyImages
Sure,youmaywanttopackyourschedulefulloffunactivities,butdon’tskimpon sleepeither.“Sleepisessentialonvacationandinlife,”Lohrsays.“Makesureyouscheduleatleasteighthours[anight].”Evenashortafternoonnapcangiveyourkneesarestandletyourbodyrecoverfromyourtravels.Ifyou’re going to be at an attraction all day, scout out a place to rest in advance, she adds.
Video: How to Stay Stylish + Warm in Winter | Winter Layering Styling Tips | Miss Louie
Oestrogen stimulates woman’s competitive nature
How to Take the Back Off a Samsung Galaxy
Trend Detailing: Contrast Sleeves
How to Decorate a Page
12 Crazy-Good Fresh Corn Recipes
Mesothelioma: The Fear Factor
How to Increase Brown Fat
50 Mexican Eagle Tattoo Designs For Men – Manly Ink Ideas
Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter and Walnuts
Meghan Markle will reportedly receive hostage training
Facebook Wants to Put a New Smart Camera in Your House