Tips for Surviving Holiday Travel: Make This the Last Year You Travel with Joint Pain
The holidays are looking a bit more cheerful this year as the United States approaches its first holiday season with COVID-19 vaccines widely available. An estimated 42% of Americans plan to travel between Thanksgiving and mid-January, taking an average of two trips . The only thing not cheerful about that? More holiday traffic than we’ve seen in nearly two years. As if holiday travel isn’t already painful enough, 1 in 5 of these travelers suffer chronic joint pain . Read on to find out how to beat the rush and avoid going stiff during long car rides this holiday season.
Please note that the tips and tricks provided below are meant to help ease minor cases of soreness and stiffness experienced during holiday travel or long periods of sitting. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), about 20% of American adults suffer from chronic pain, and over 7% of American adults suffer from work or life-limiting chronic joint pain . If this sounds more like your condition rather than the occasional ache or pain, please consider a non-surgical solution to your pain with Regenexx.
Find out if you’re a candidate, because we have special incentives in place for patients who schedule a procedure in January through March 2022.
Beat the Holiday Rush: Most Popular Travel Days
Most often each year, December 23rd is the busiest travel day preceding Christmas, with the Sunday after Christmas being the busiest post-Christmas. According to Kayak data, this year the most popular travel days will be Wednesday, December 22 and Tuesday, December 28 . I If you work remotely, have time off around the holidays, or are enjoying retirement, you may be able to beat the rush by traveling earlier or sometime in between these dates.
Tips for Keeping Comfortable During Holiday Travel
Did you know that sitting for long periods of time every day can negatively impact your health? It even has links to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. But perhaps the biggest threat it poses is long term chronic pain . Many adults especially suffer sore legs and glutes, tight hips, an achy back, and/or stiff neck and shoulders after long rides. Sometimes painful swelling can occur due to fluid or blood pooling while the body is still.
The good news is, there are some very simple things you can do to stay loose and keep your body from stiffening up during travel :
- Move Around As Much As Possible
No need to pull over every few miles or anything. However, walking around while stopping for gas or at a rest area will promote circulation and reduce fluid buildup in your feet and ankles. If you’re on a flight, this can be tricky. But generally speaking, a couple trips to the lavatory shouldn’t earn you too many side-eyes from other passengers. Try to get up as much as you can!
- Drink Lots of Water
Water helps your body flush out excess fluids in addition to hydration. It will also give you a real reason to get up or pull over for the restroom (wink, wink).
- Stretch and Check Your Posture While Seated
Don’t be that guy or girl on a crowded flight, but subtle movement like rotating your neck, ankles, and wrists promotes circulation and will help you stay loose. Additionally, hunching over your electronic devices or your favorite book can be brutal on your back and neck. Make sure to take frequent breaks from looking down and sit up straight when you catch yourself slouching.
- Elevate Your Legs
Again, this is pretty impossible on a flight unless you’re one of the lucky ones flying business class. But if you’re able to prop your feet on the dashboard or you’re in the back seat and can use the armrest in front of you, it may provide some relief. Elevation will help break up fluid and blood pooling in your lower legs.
- Seek Medical Treatment
Sometimes little aches and pains aren’t simply little aches and pains. Listen to your body: if you are consistently combatting recurring pain and it is interfering with your ability to function normally, it may be time to seek a professional opinion.
Regenexx as an Alternative to Surgery
If none of the things above seem to help the discomfort you feel during travel or throughout your day-to-day in general, consider alternative treatment with Regenexx. Many of our patients once suffered consistent, chronic pain that started out small and grew much worse over the years. The wear and tear on joints and ligaments over time is natural and very common, but that doesn’t mean pain should be anyone’s “normal.”
Many people think surgery or steroid shots are the only options for treating chronic pain. However, Regenexx offers a wide variety of non-surgical treatment options for knee, hip, shoulder, foot and ankle, hand and wrist, elbow, and spine that have vastly improved patients’ quality of life. Our patient registry shows real patient outcomes up to four years post-procedure and tracks the improvement of patients’ pain and overall joint function. You can also read personal patient testimonials for more insight on what to expect with a Regenexx procedure.
Not sure if a Regenexx procedure is right for you? We understand how overwhelming it can be to find the best treatment option and promise 100% transparency with our patients while determining if Regenexx is the right fit.
Ask about our special incentives to lower the cost of procedures scheduled January through March 2022.
To learn more and find out if a Regenexx procedure is what you need for your chronic joint pain, click “Talk to an Expert” below.