Many people often ask the question, can you fly with osteoarthritis (OA)? If you are in the same boat, this informative article answers the question satisfactorily. But just before that, here is a quick overview of the condition.
What is Osteoarthritis?
This is a chronic degenerative condition that causes pain and inflammation in joints because of the wearing of cartilage tissues. There are primary causes of OA and secondary ones. Direct causes include occupational hazards and injuries. On the other hand, secondary causes include congenital disorders, diabetes, obesity, joint infections, etc.
Osteoarthritis is a common disorder that affects over 8.5 million people in the UK. The degenerative condition is more prevalent in women and older age groups though young people are also affected.
Can You Fly with Osteoarthritis?
Well, there is no definite answer to this question. Some arthritis patients are advised by rheumatologists not to fly because the changes in air pressure and the long sitting hours may aggravate the symptoms. But for many OA patients, it’s safe to fly with osteoarthritis.
It’s essential to take the necessary measures to ensure that you have a smooth flight and, most importantly, to avoid aggravating the symptoms.
Before flying, the first thing to do is to consult your doctor. You don’t want to fly, only to make your condition worse. In case you are in for a long flight, ask for stronger pain and inflammation-relieving medication, and don’t forget to carry them.
Next to talk to the airline and inform them of your condition. This will facilitate the booking for an aisle seat and also for earlier planning on how you might get help with your luggage during boarding.
Last, make sure to arrive on time to avoid any hassles. If your symptoms are worse in the mornings, avoid early flights.
During the Flight
While on the flight, the first thing to remember is sticking to your osteoarthritis diet by being picky. Don’t lay your hands on sugar-rich carbs, fried foods, and the likes. If you love in-flight booze, go for red wine as it has compounds known to relieve OA symptoms.
Exercising will also be essential to make your flight comfortable. Now that you have booked an aisle seat, get up and walk around during long flights. Stretch a little bit as long as it’s safe. There are also several seated exercises to help you relieve pain and inflammation. If you have enough legroom, lift your foot and straighten your leg. You can also raise and lower your heels while your toes are on the floor.
There you have it, folks, a detailed answer to the question, can you fly with osteoarthritis? As you have seen, there are situations where you shouldn’t, but in most cases, it’s safe to fly if you have OA. If you choose to fly with OA, follow the above tips to ensure your flight is smooth.