Airplane Travel And Rheumatoid Arthritis


Asked by deb

Airplane Travel And Rheumatoid Arthritis

can airplane travel make my syptoms worse? In terms of affecting my symptoms, after travel.. making me feel worse when I get to my destomaton?


Hi Deb,

I just wrote about this myself after getting ready for a flight cross country. Flying with RA adds a whole other dimension to any trip, but there are some things you can do to make the trip easier on yourself and hopefully lessen any effects from the flying on your RA.

It's a good idea to keep yourself hydrated, so drinking lots of water ahead of the flight and during, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine can help with that, and that should help with your energy level/fatigue on the other side.

If you have trouble with your ankles and feet, I would suggest getting some high pressure socks (often available at brookstones or other travel shops) to put on during the flight. They help with circulation, but I have found that they also help me with alleviating swelling and pain in my ankles and feet. Similarly, you can also get an inflatable neck pillow to help support your neck. I now travel with both of these, and they have made a difference for me.

Try to get up and move regularly, particularly on a long flight, so that your joints won't stiffen so much.

It's also a good idea to try and condense your luggage and ask for assistance with it if needed so that you don't put additional stress on your joints getting to the flight itself.

In my experience, flying, like almost everything, tends to take more out of me than it did before I had RA, but with a little planning, it isn't too bad. Anything you can do to increase your comfort is worth it. If you can, getting a massage post flight can also be really helpful for your joints and also for easing fatigue and jet lag.

Good luck!


Answered by Sara Nash