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Don’t Let Arthritis Keep You Home

 I was diagnosed with arthritis at the tender age of 29, but after lots of trial and error, my doctor and I found a treatment modality that keeps me pain-free and mobile. I consider myself lucky that my condition doesn’t hamper me from traveling, but I realize there are plenty of other people who are perhaps reticent to get out on the road due to their aching joints.

 You might need to plan a little more than people who don’t have arthritis, but having this chronic condition doesn’t need to keep you homebound. It’s probably a good idea to travel with someone else, rather than alone, and you might start with a short trip to see how things go before booking something of longer duration. Here are a few other tips to make your travel experience go smoothly.

 When flying:

  • Request a wheelchair at the airport if walking is difficult for you.
  • Request pre-boarding so you can get comfortably seated before everyone else.
  • Use the bathroom in the terminal before getting on board.
  • Book a non-stop flight, or if you must connect, allow plenty of time between flights.
  • Choose a seat that offers extra legroom. Most airlines offer premium seating for an additional fee.

 

When driving:

  • Stop frequently so you can get out and stretch to minimize stiffness.
  • Use valet parking if available.
  • Use handicapped parking if you have the necessary placard.

 When booking a hotel room:

  • Choose a handicapped access room or one close to the elevator.
  • Ask for a first-floor room if staying at a property without an elevator.

 Use lightweight luggage on wheels, be sure you have plenty of medication with you, and get out there and have fun!