Five Tips for Traveling with Chronic Pain

October 30, 2018 • Quell Team

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Preparing for an upcoming trip can be a stressful, and living with chronic pain can often feel like added baggage to take with you. Whether it be for business, or going to see family or friends, traveling can sometimes be unavoidable and one that that comes with conflicting emotions of anxiety, excitement, and fear of the unknown consequences of chronic pain. Take these five tips for traveling with chronic pain with you on your next getaway:

Give Yourself Time: The environment of an airport tends to be frantic – people running from gate to gate and announcements of time changes being made over the loudspeaker can start your trip off in a stressful way. If you’re traveling with chronic pain, you understand the importance of keeping your stress and emotions as even as possible. Allow yourself the time needed to arrive at the airport and check-in, without the added worry of getting through security and making it to the gate on time. This simple change can set your trip up for a more enjoyable experience from the start.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: It’s a known fact that traveling dehydrates the body and when living with chronic pain, dehydration can make the everyday symptoms feel worse. The lack of humidity and air flow within the airplane cabin can make you feel swollen, depleted and dried out by the time you land. Many airports now offer filtered water from a water fountain after going through security. Consider bringing an empty water bottle with you and fill it up before getting on the plane or as tempting as it is to go for a cold soda from the flight attendant try choosing a water instead. Water is a critical travel companion that should never be left behind.

Get Rest Beforehand: Being well rested before you go on vacation or a business trip can be a challenge, between packing and daily tasks that have to get done before you leave, but sleep is an important part of good health. Insufficient sleep often worsens pain symptoms and ultimately affects your mood, which can precipitate a vicious cycle. Sleep runs on a two-day cycle so be sure to build in rest to your pre-travel plans; it may not take the pain away, but you’ll be much better suited to deal with the unexpected aspects that traveling throws your way.

Travel Comfortably: Living with chronic pain means there are many facets of life that are out of your control. When it comes to clothing, this is a choice you’re able to make. Traveling sometimes means going from car to plane to taxi, you’ll want to wear something that you’re comfortable spending hours in.  Wearing loose clothing, dressing in layers and packing comfort items, like a travel pillow, can go a long way. This small adjustment can be the difference between arriving at your destination and having a bumpy ride.

Check Your Bag: Although this may be an added expense for many airlines, you may get your first bag free as an added perk if you are a frequent traveler.  From a practical standpoint, checking your bag means you don’t have to drag it to your terminal or deal with finding space in the overhead bin. When traveling with medication, make sure you refer to these helpful TSA tips – and when you’re traveling with your Quell device, we suggest simply removing the device from your leg and placing it in your carry-on bag (possible something simple like a backpack on wheels) to pass through the screening checkpoint. The less added baggage you have with you, the easier your traveling experience will be.

What are your travel tips? We’d love to hear helpful suggestions to manage your chronic pain while traveling and see where you are taking Quell with you!  Please share them and tag @quellrelief or #QuellRelief in your social posts. We can’t wait to see where you’re off to next!


About The Author
Quell Team
Quell Team

The Quell Team is comprised of members of the Marketing, Engineering and Customer Care teams at NeuroMetrix. We are committed to empowering people living with chronic pain to regain a high quality of life. We believe that life shouldn’t be defined by a condition. We believe that no one should have to settle for crippling side effects and we imagine a future where therapies are accessible, available and usable for anyone who needs it.


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