With the summer just around the corner, many of us will be turning our attention to our summer holidays and jetting away to relax and unwind. However, for those individuals living with arthritis, spending hours sitting in the cramped confines of an airplane seat can cause significant joint pain and stiffness.
However, while it can be a difficult time for some people, arthritis and joint pain do not need to stop you from enjoying your vacation. If you are struggling with discomfort and stiffness when you are flying, we have taken a closer look at some of the top tips to help you reduce joint pain.
Does flying impact arthritis?
Before looking at some of the top tips to help you reduce joint pain, it is first important to understand how flying can impact your arthritis. Flying can affect your arthritis in many different ways. The most common reason for this is sitting in the same position for an extended period of time. Remaining stationary can cause your joints to stiffen and become sore.
However, the changes in air pressure and climate can also impact your arthritis and increase the risk of joint pain.
Tips to reduce joint pain when flying
While flying can impact your arthritis, there are several things that you can do to minimize the effects and reduce your joint pain.
1) Get prepared
When it comes to reducing joint pain when flying, making sure you are prepared is essential. Before heading to the airport, try a light workout or yoga session, as this can help you to loosen your joints and get the blood flowing, helping to reduce stiffness and discomfort from sitting still for a long time.
2) Take medication
Another top tip for easing your arthritis symptoms is to take your medication ahead of the flight. You should also keep pain medication in your carry-on luggage, particularly on long-haul flights. This ensures that should you start to feel discomfort on the flight, you can then take your tablets to prevent it from worsening.
3) Pack smart
Having to carry heavy luggage around the airport can also significantly impact your arthritis and lead to joint pain. That is why to reduce the risk of experiencing discomfort and stiffness when you are flying, you should focus on packing smartly.
You should also consider using luggage with wheels to avoid having to lift heavy bags. When finding the right rolling luggage, utilizing options that can turn 360 degrees and have extendable handles can help to make traveling incredibly easy.
4) Consider paying for legroom
Many airlines offer an option to purchase seats with extra legroom. These are often those at the front of a row and can provide you with that much-needed space to stretch your legs and move around, helping to reduce stiffness and joint pain.
5) Choose an aisle seat
If paying for extra legroom isn’t an option, then consider booking an aisle seat. This is a far more convenient solution and will allow you to get up and walk around the plane anytime that you want without having to pester those sitting next to you.
Being able to get up and walk around the plane during the flight is a very important step and can help to prevent joint pain. Remaining active, particularly on long-haul flights, will help to get the blood flowing and your joints active, preventing them from becoming stiff and sore.
6) Inform the airline
If your arthritis is particularly severe and you are worried about how you will cope, then make sure that you contact the airline you are flying with in advance. They are able to offer customers an array of special treatment to help make their travel through the airport and boarding the plane as smoothly as possible.
This special assistance can come in various forms. One of the most common is shuttle assistance through the airport, which can prevent you from having to walk long distances or carrying your heavy luggage. They can also help you with early boarding, placing luggage in the overhead lockers, and even using special elevated platforms to prevent the need to climb steps. All of this combined can help you to enjoy a smooth and effortless transition through the airport.
7) Focus on your posture
Having to sit in an airplane seat for a long time can be very uncomfortable, which is why you should focus on your posture. An ideal position will see your knees and hips at a 90-degree angle when you are sitting upright. However, if you find that you are unable to do this comfortably, then use something to help you prop your feet up, such as your carry-on luggage or a blanket.
You should also try to provide support for your joints as much as possible. Placing a pillow behind your back can help to provide additional support for your spine, reducing joint pain and stiffness.
8) Try seat exercises
If you find it difficult to get out of your seat for a walk around, then there is still an array of exercises that you can do while sitting down. These are a great way to get your blood flowing and joints moving, helping to reduce stiffness and discomfort. Some good exercises to remember are:
- Gently raising and lowering your toes, wiggling them around while keeping your heels flat on the ground.
- Switching over and raising and lowering your heels while keeping your toes flat on the ground.
- Focusing on tightening and loosening the muscles in your legs.
- If you have the space in front of you, then gently lift your leg up so that it is straight in front of you, and you can feel your hamstring tightening.
9) Use temperature therapy
Finally, if you are still finding that your joint pain is worsening and you are unable to ease the stiffness, then consider using temperature therapy. Heating or cooling your joints can be a great way to reduce discomfort, so do not be afraid to use them on your flight. Hand warmers are a great way to warm your joints, while filling a plastic bag with ice can help you to cool them.
How JointFuel360 can help you
If you are struggling with the joint pain and stiffness that comes from arthritis, then JointFuel360 is here to help you. Our all-natural joint supplement has been specifically designed to help you ease pain, reduce inflammation, and improve your flexibility.
Developed by Jupiter Laboratories, JointFuel360 is a 100% drug-free supplement that utilizes science-backed ingredients to provide you with long-term pain relief. Our unique product has been shown to get to work in as little as seven days, so if you are heading away this summer and are looking to minimize the discomfort you are experiencing, get in touch to find out how we can help you.