Travel is still possible for people with arthritis. It is best to prepare in advance to ensure a safe and comfortable trip.
Here's the advice that rheumatologist Dr. Andy Thompson gives to his patients who are travelling:
Travel Checklist for Arthritis Patients
- Before leaving, visit your rheumatologist's office to make sure everything is ok. Some patients come by for a quick joint injection if they feel they need it. Some patients take extra prednisone with them in case of a flare.
- Check that you have enough medication for the trip. Always bring your medications even if you don't take them daily. Pack a few days worth of your usual medications with you.
- Double-check your medication to make sure that you are bringing the right medication with you.
- Bring a copy of your medication list and your doctors and pharmacy phone numbers.
- Always carry your medication onboard the aircraft. Never check medication with your luggage because it might get damaged or lost.
- In North America, airport security requires you prove that medication is yours. Your proof is the label on your prescription bottle or box. If you are not sure about the requirements of the border where you are travelling, it is best to get a quick letter from your rheumatologist.
- There is no need to bring an ice chest for refrigeration. Wrap your injectable syringe in bubble rap and put it in your carry-on bag. Bring the box label. The syringe is safe on planes and hotels as long as they stay at room temperature and away from sunlight or heat. Once you are at your destination you can store it in a refrigerator of minibar.
- If you are flying, get up every hour to walk around. If you're driving, stop frequently to stretch and loosen up.
- Bring a good pair of comfortable walking shoes or running shoes.
- Stay well hydrated.
- It is always a good idea to have travel insurance and health insurance.
- Above all, have a great time!