Flying and your joints

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TRAVEL TIP: Gentle movement and stretching can help while on board.

IT’S summer! And for many of us that means we’re getting ready to jump on a plane.

Airports:

Miles of walking, often pulling heavy luggage, juggling trollies and children and buggies, and the endless standing in queues. If you’ve already got a bad knee, ankle, foot or arm getting banged by someone’s suitcase won’t help.

1. Wear a bandage or a sling or take a crutch, even if you don’t need it all the time at home. This acts as a warning sign to everyone else saying ‘give me space.’

2. Ask for help, you don’t get extra points for being a martyr, so if you don’t think your knee will cope with the miles of walking, phone ahead and ask for help!

On the plane:

The air pressure changes the internal pressure on our soft tissues. We all notice our ears get blocked but something similar happens to your joints. Anything that is a little bit swollen or irritated before you get on the plane can become much more swollen during the flight.

• Choose your seat, if movement helps an aisle seat for stretching can be good. But if you don’t want to be knocked a window might be safer. • Gentle movement, do whatever movement you can while seated, or get up if you can.

• Drink water, lots of water helps the tissues stay soft and reduces swelling.

• Wear compression garments, not glamourous but a good fitting pair of compression socks can keep a wobbly ankle or knee from blowing up into a problem.

• Ask for help, get the air stewardess to help put your bag in the overhead compartment, don’t irritate a grumpy shoulder, wrist or back. They’ll only rearrange it anyway!

On arrival:

If you suddenly feel worse when you get there:

1. Ice, reduces swelling but never put directly on the skin.

2. Gentle movement, staying too still can make things worse.

3. No beach massages, they often make things 100 times worse.

4. Get help, if you’re in a lot of pain after 24 hours, get help!

For more information if you have a problem check out our blog, www.TheBody worksClinic.com/blog, our Facebook page Bodyworks Health Clinic, or call us on 952 883 151.

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