Arthritis – Traveling and Dealing with Joint Pain

How can I better manage my Arthritis when I’m on the go?

Arthritis affects over 50 million Americans and is an often a misunderstood disease. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States and frequently causes activity limitations. The American with Disabilities Act defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability.

Traveling can be a great way to visit friends and see the world but for people with arthritis sitting for long periods of time can result in very stiff joints, fatigue, and stress on the joints. There are several ways to minimize stress on the joints which means you will need to plan ahead.
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If you are traveling by air, try to book non-stop to eliminate transfers and ask for a seat in an exit row so you have more room. You can have your large bags shipped ahead of time to their destination to avoid carrying large bags to the airport. You can simply arrive to the airport with your carry-on bag with medications and snacks. When traveling consider traveling during the weekdays if you have the choice because the airports, bus and rail terminals are less crowded. Be sure to take along inflatable pillows, ear plugs, small meals, or items that can make your trip more comfortable. You will want to stretch regularly to avoid unnecessary stiffness.

If you are traveling with a wheelchair and by car you have the most flexibility and can arrange to stop every hour or so to do some stretching exercises. There are also cruise opportunities as well, which can be less fatiguing. The ships often offer stretching exercises and activities on board to help you stay in shape. Exercise is essential for arthritis and helps increase energy levels, develops a better sleep pattern, maintains a healthy heart, helps stiff joints, decreases stress, and improves your self-esteem. As always, contact your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Classic Ambiance resistance bands along with a pedometer can be used when you are traveling because they take up no room in your suitcase. The resistance bands arrive with 3 levels of progressive strength along with videos led by personal trainers to deliver the precise amount of resistance you require. These resistance bands are very different than other bands on the market because they most accurately duplicate the elasticity of human muscles. Pick up a set before your next trip at

The Arthritis Foundation has wonderful fitness programs which are designed to reduce pain, increase your flexibility, and help you live a better life with arthritis. They have a walk with ease program, tai chi, aquatic and other programs. To learn more about these programs in your area you can contact your local Arthritis Foundation office or visit Instead you can check here how to care for arthritis

Here’s another resource than can be beneficial if you have arthritis, diabetes, hearing problems, visual impairments, confined to a wheelchair, and other health issues, “Disabled World Travels” is a series that is filled with safe travel tips to empower people with disabilities, seniors, and baby boomers, so they enjoy more successful travel experiences. The book has many resources and forums that can empower and enhance the way you travel. Be sure to get your copy of Disabled World Travels.

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