Less Stressful Flying with Rheumatoid Arthritis

elderly person holding both her hands

Travel-related stress and tension can increase physical discomfort and worsen rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Luckily, there are ways to make traveling with RA less painful. If you’re going to travel and ride a plane despite having RA, here are tips for you:

1. Book Smart

Long queues and airport congestion can make traveling miserable. Whenever possible, travel midweek when traffic is often less. Talk to your flight agent about your need to stretch your legs during the flight. Ask for an aisle seat or a seat with additional leg room. If you have flare-ups in the morning, don’t schedule a flight that may require you to wake up too early.

2. Tell Your Doctor You’ll Be Travelling

Your doctor will make sure you have enough medication. Also, talk to your doctor about immunizations if you’ll be traveling overseas. The doctor can also give you a prescription or doctor’s note to account for any needles you will be carrying.

3. Notify the Airline

Inform your airline about your medical condition. The airline can make plans to make your travel less stressful. If you ask, the airline may offer you pre-boarding, wheelchair help, or motorized escort through airports.

4. Plan Your Meals

Did you talk to your rheumatoid arthritis care specialist in Boise about food choices? RedRiver Health and Wellness Center recommends avoiding foods and drinks that may promote inflammation as you travel. Avoid high-fat foods at airports and don’t take alcoholic drinks and caffeine. Bring healthy snacks and drink sufficient water.

5. Keep the Meds Ready

Don’t keep your medications in checked bags. Keep the medicines with you. If you have medications that need refrigeration, a tiny cooler or a Ziploc bag and an ice pack can keep them cool.

6. Prevent Stiff Joints

If you’ll be on a long flight, don’t sit for extended periods. Remember to stretch and get up and walk around. Seat exercises during flight can also help prevent stiffness and blood clot issues. Do your homework on helpful seat exercises.

Rheumatoid arthritis can make traveling stressful. When going on a trip is inevitable, following these tips can make the journey as pain-free as possible.

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