Tips for travelling with Osteoarthritis

With proper planning and management of the symptoms, osteoarthritis patients can enjoy their vacations. Here are some tips which you can use while travelling with osteoarthritis.

The vacation period in India is about to arrive. Travelling with osteoarthritis may pose some challenges during the trip and may spoil the holidays. However, with proper planning and management of the symptoms, osteoarthritis patients can enjoy the vacations.

Plan the tour keeping Osteoarthritis in mind

Be realistic while planning your tour. Do not plan a tour that requires you to walk on uneven terrain or walking for a long time in the sun. Overdoing the fun one day might spoil your vacation for the rest of the days.

Request for extra leg-room on flight

If you are planning to travel for long hours in flight, book the ticket with extra leg-room. Although it might be a bit costly but will provide you much comfort.

Carry pain medications with you

Always carry the pain medications with you. Sometimes arthritis pain, due to constant sitting, is sharp and requires immediate medication. You may also prefer to take your medication before boarding the flight. 

Dress comfortably

Always wear comfortable clothes while travelling. Tight clothes may restrict your movement and may initiate pain and stiffness. You should wear supportive shoes that help in managing the pain of knee osteoarthritis while climbing stairs or walking.

Travel light

You must carry the minimum possible luggage with you. Make sure that the luggage bag has wheels and is easy to carry. Luggage bags with handles and 360-degree wheel rotation help you to carry them with ease. Heavy lifting can put strain on the joints and cause pain.

Incorporate anti-inflammatory food in your diet

Take care of food habits during your trip. Some foods may aggravate the symptoms of osteoarthritis. High-calorie and highly processed food trigger inflammation. Walnuts, peanut butter, cocoa, and plain popcorn are good for patients with osteoarthritis. Incorporate fruits and vegetables in your diet.

Take adequate rest

After a long journey or a fun-filled day, don’t forget to take enough rest to make yourself active the next day. Getting good sleep helps to ease the symptoms of arthritis. Taking a small nap in the afternoon can help relax your knees.

Use hot and cold therapy

Arthritis foundation advises using hot and cold therapy for alleviating the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Opt for a hotel that has a sauna or hot tub.

Knee protection

Vacations can require walking for long periods while visiting tourist places. Walking too much with knee osteoarthritis may cause pain and inflammation. Protect your knees with knee braces as they help in reducing pain and improve mobility.

Avoid queuing unnecessarily

Plan appropriately to avoid any unnecessary queuing. Take a mid-week flight to avoid the weekend rush. Check-in online so that you do not have to stand for long. Take a flight with no or minimum change-over. Ask for wheelchair assistance if required.

Stay hydrated

Drink enough water to remain hydrated. Dehydration worsens the symptoms of arthritis. Avoid drinking too much alcohol as it causes dehydration. 


The above-discussed measures for managing OA are recommended to be practiced along with the current treatment for managing OA. Lifestyle approaches to counter the effects and symptoms of OA become vital for patients and they must learn to self-manage their condition. Advise of clinicians should be followed for the implementation of the suggested lifestyle approaches toward managing symptoms of OA through these self-care strategies.  

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