Road trips are the pinnacle of finding yourself. You have to test yourself and make it from one destination to another in any way that you can. This can be spiritual and fun for some and dreadful for others. And for those with arthritis, it’s usually the latter. Arthritis can really interrupt your road trip experience and even make it unbearable. Thankfully, there are ways that you can deal with your arthritis in the car that will help your road trip become a more enjoyable experience. Here are some of the ways you can take a road trip with arthritis pain.
First things first, you should start with planning out your entire trip. Once you figure out where you’re destinations are, you can plan some stops along the way. You know your body than most others do, so ask yourself how long it typically takes for you to start feeling pain when sitting in the car. Start to plan around that time frame. Once you feel more than just a little discomfort, you should stop and stretch or take a walk. Enjoy the views a or take in your surroundings.
When planning your stay for the night, make sure you are not pushing your body’s limits with extra long drives. Look for hotels within a comfortable driving distance for the day. Call these hotels and ask how they can accommodate someone in your condition — you might be really pleased with what they offer!
In some cases, the drive might be time sensitive. In this case, you should certainly bring a partner and take turns driving. Your partner will be there when it’s too uncomfortable to drive. This will help to keep you going and give you some much-needed company.
Make sure that you take the time to speak with your doctor and ask questions about options you might have. If you let them know about your travel plans ahead of time, they might be able to offer some additional help.
Make sure that you are traveling long distances in a comfortable car with ample seating. If your car seat doesn’t reach that perfect position, try bringing a rolled up towel or some pillows to place behind your back and head. Make sure to keep your hips center to the seat and your spine straight. This will help with blood flow and help keep off the pain for longer periods of time. And for those with back pain, some even say that getting a heating pad for the car seat really helps with arthritis, too.
Pack the essentials
Pack the essentials! Bring water, food, wraps, and hot and cold packs. You might even want to consider bringing along a cooler full of stuff so you can keep things fresher for longer. Not to mention, you can grab some of the ice out of it and make your own ice bags while on the road to help with those pesky aches. Having water and snacks on hand will help you if you plan on taking medication on the road so you don’t have to take them on an empty stomach.
Drink water and eat healthily
Staying hydrated will help you stay alert on the road for longer, while also vitalizing your body. We all know how important every bit of energy can be when driving for great distances. Make sure you are eating the right amount, and opt for healthy snack options as well. Unfortunately, fast-food that’s convenient to eat on the road like fried food, refined carbs or soda can cause inflammation, so pack anti-inflammatory snacks in your car like almonds, apples or oranges to curb your appetite.
Make sure the trip is fun
Nothing will get your mind off of pain faster than having a few good laughs! A great way to find a fun distraction is to play some road trip games while driving with a company. This is one way to remind ourselves that sometimes it is about the trip itself and not the destination. Enjoying the trip will really help someone with arthritis get through it.
You might see some incredible, unexpected sights on the road. Stop and enjoy them if you have the time! You’ll find that your drive will be much more enjoyable and once you get to your destination, you will be ready to do whatever you need to do with a smile.
Having your arthritis act up over physical and mental stress is something nobody wants to encounter. If you happen to be driving by yourself, have a few good friends ready to call or have podcasts or a music playlist ready to play. Any of these options will really help with making the time go by and will help keep your mind off of any discomfort.
Driving with arthritis can be a bummer. However, if someone takes the necessary steps as described above, one can really enjoy themselves on the road. Just be sure to drive safe and enjoy your trip. Happy travels!