Summer Travel Season Is Here — Here’s How to Enjoy Your Trip, Even with Chronic Pain.

It’s summertime, and we hope you have plans for the season. If you’re going to be traveling, don’t let chronic pain hold you back. Get prepared with these tips from Cedar Rapids Pain Associates so you can enjoy your trip and make the most of your vacation.

Give yourself plenty of time.
Start planning and packing for your trip well in advance to make sure you have everything you’ll need… and so you don’t stress yourself in the days before you leave.

If you’re going to be flying or using other public transportation, call a couple of weeks before, if possible, to request any special accommodations, like an aisle seat or wheelchair. If you’ll be staying with friends or family, talk with them before your visit about your condition and let them know if there’s anything specific you’ll need. They will likely appreciate knowing how to make you feel more comfortable and at-home.

Pack smart.
Be sure to bring the important things that help keep you safe & well, including:

  • All medications and any supplements that your doctor recommends.
  • A health history sheet that details your medications and other important information about your condition.
  • Copies of your prescriptions and a note from your doctor that explains your condition and any special accommodations you may need while traveling.
  • Any devices, like a cane or leg brace, that you need to manage your pain and improve your function and mobility.

Note: Keep the above items with you — not in checked luggage!

You’ll also want to pack the comfort items that make you feel better. A lumbar or neck pillow, a blanket that helps you sleep better, reusable hot or cold packs… small things like these can make a big difference when you’re out of your normal routine, especially at night when you need to rest.

Bonus tip: Use luggage with wheels. They are so much easier and more convenient and will save you from straining yourself.

Stick with your treatment plan.
Be sure to take your medications exactly as prescribed. Plan time into your schedule to do your stretches and exercises. If you have a brace or use a nerve stimulator to treat your pain, be sure you bring these items and continue to use them as prescribed.

In addition to your specific treatment plan, just be sure to take good care of yourself in general. Drink plenty of water; eat regular, well-balanced meals; and make sure to get plenty of rest.

Manage stress.
Beyond continuing to follow doctor’s orders, one of the most important things you can do to avoid pain triggers and enjoy your trip is to manage your stress levels. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Try to plan travel around the times you typically feel the most pain. If mornings are harder for you, plan the most stressful parts of your trip later in the day.
  • Ask for help when you need it, whether it’s help with planning the details of your trip or lifting a heavy bag while you’re on the road.
  • Recognize that inconveniences are inevitable. Have a plan for dealing with delays and other problems. Being prepared with the things that bring you comfort will help.
  • During your trip, don’t feel like you have to do every single activity. Prioritize, build time into your schedule for rest and self-care, and try to simply enjoy the experience.

Talk to us!
If you’re hitting the road this summer, be sure to talk with your CRPA provider. Our highly skilled, experienced specialists want you to enjoy your life and we’re here to help you feel your best during your trip. Call us today! 319-540-8251.