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The holiday season tends to be an active time of the year. Between traveling to see your family and kids, running around to get last minute shopping or errands done, and attending holiday parties and celebrations, it seems like you are always on the move. However, holidays can also be a dark and painful time for those suffering from arthritis. Having knee joint pain can take a severe toll on your body and make it hard to perform daily activities. Tasks such as holiday baking and decorating the house can start to feel painful and laborious. Stress and tension that often come with traveling can add physical discomfort and worsen joint pain symptoms.

About Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a disease that causes the cartilage in your joints to wear away. Leading to a decrease in the shock absorbing cushion in your joints, making your bones to rub against one another. This can be extremely painful and inhibit simple everyday tasks. Osteoarthritis is fairly common with age and affects 630 million people worldwide. The disease most frequently appears in the knee and can have an affect your quality of life. Symptoms can include:

Swelling

Pain

Feeling of Warmth in Joints

Decrease in Mobility

Stiffiness

If you suffer from arthritis in the knee, you can still enjoy the holidays! With proper preparation and planning ahead, you don’t need to be sidelined by the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

Travel Tips for People With Knee Osteoarthritis

If you are planning a trip out of town this holiday season, speak with your physician, physical therapist, and or occupational therapist about adjustments you may need to make to your routine, your medication, your exercise plan, diet, and supplements to prevent arthritis flare-ups and increase your endurance. Whether you are traveling by plane, car, or train, whether you are going an hour away or across the world, preparation is key to holiday travel with arthritic knees.

Plan How You Will Get Around The Airport

Airports can be difficult to navigate for those with limited mobility. Get to know each airport and, unless you use a wheelchair, prepare to do a lot of walking! According to USA today, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, a walk from the far end of the A Concourse, across the central terminal and out to the end of the D Concourse tallies to 3,885 feet, or about .7 miles. And, according to the same source, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), the walking distance from the beginning of the domestic terminal to the international terminal gates is about 10,600 feet, which is over 2 miles! Of course, many airports have moving sidewalks, automated “people movers,” shuttles between terminals, escalators and elevators and many other options for getting around. Doing some research and wearing proper clothing, shoes with insoles, can help you not only manage your time between gates, but also use the airport as a chance to exercise and stretch before, or between long flights. Moderate exercise such as walking has been shown to help alleviate pain in arthritic knees.

Prevent Knee Pain Aggravation With a Good Seat

When booking an airline or bus seat, you may wish to look for a seat that offers more leg room or select a seat near the aisle. Sitting near the aisle will allow you to get up and walk around, without having to disturb your neighbors who may be napping. Getting up frequently also helps prevent blood clots, a common condition during long flights. If you are not sure about the seat arrangement on your flight, online tools such as Seatguru can help you plan ahead for each type of aircraft. Contact the airline ahead of time and find out what type of accommodations are available at each airport and aircraft.

Prepare for Knee Osteoarthritis Pain Before You Leave

If you suffer from arthritis of the knee, you may already have certain assistive devices that help you alleviate pain and discomfort for everyday activities. Whether you use a knee brace, foldable cane, walker, crutch, or something else, make sure they are in good shape and ready for your trip. If you use a special pillow for supporting your knee, pack that into your carry-on luggage. Of course, you will also want to make sure that you have a supply of your over-the-counter or prescription medications and supplements, enough to last through the trip, plus a few extra days. Call your doctor or pharmacy and pick up the refills, and/or have them shipped to your home in advance of the trip. For international travel, check the list of guidelines for bringing prescription medication abroad, as each country may have individual rules.

Dress Comfortably to Avoid Triggering Knee Osteoarthritis

When packing your suitcase and planning your travel outfit, make sure your clothing doesn’t add to your discomfort. Choose loose-fitting or stretchy yoga or athletic pants while flying. Choose supportive shoes that won’t aggravate your knee osteoarthritis and will allow you to walk and climb stairs. With flight delays so common these days, and particularly during the peak holiday season, be prepared for extra waiting and walking. Does your arthritis flares up when the temperature drops a few degrees? A spare outfit, a sweater, a light blanket, or your favorite scarf can help make the long wait more comfortable.

Consider Wedged Insoles For Arthritic Knees

If you find yourself slowing down and needing to take breaks while walking through the airport for your holiday travels, you may want to consider a simple solution that can greatly improve your mobility and bring down your pain level. Dr. Lanny’s wedged insoles for arthritic knees has helped patients become more mobile due to the increase in comfort and support for their knees.

Lanny L. Johnson, M.D., a world recognized orthopedic surgeon, developed wedged insoles for his own post injury knee arthritis.  Although now 20 years later and slightly bowed legs he has not had further surgery and maintains an active lifestyle.  If on his feet for 8 or 10 hours or with golf, he uses NSAID for mild discomfort.  He is his own most satisfied user.  “Physician heal thyself” is an ancient proverb.  Now he is confident he can help patients like himself, suffering with osteoarthritis of the knee. 

In order to find out whether this product is suited for you, click here for a quick and easy self evaluation.

We hope you enjoy the holidays and make the most of this festive season. Connecting with family and friends, travel and making new memories contribute to our overall well-being. Don’t let arthritis of the knee hold you back from fully embracing and enjoying the holidays, however you choose to celebrate! 

P.S. As always, speak with your physician or healthcare provider before starting on new medication or wellness regimen.

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