Hip pain can be frustrating and especially so when you go on holiday. A holiday should be a time for relaxation, recuperation and exploration, but it can be difficult to enjoy a getaway if you’re suffering from hip pain and discomfort.
Whether you have everyday hip pain or you’re recovering from hip replacement surgery, it’s important to look after yourself while on your travels. With that in mind, here are some top tips for minimising hip pain on holiday.
Speak to an expert before you go
One way to prepare for a holiday with hip pain is to speak to your doctor, physio or other specialist. This is especially important if you are recovering from surgery. An expert should be able to give you some great tips to reduce hip pain on your travels, and they may be able to advise you on any pain relief medication that might be suitable.
Don’t sit for long periods
Whether you are travelling on a train, plane or automobile, it’s wise to have a break from sitting every hour or two. On a long-haul flight get up and have a stretch and a stroll up and down the aisle. On a long car journey take regular breaks so that you can get out and move around.
Bring cushions and padding
Seats in trains and aeroplanes can be uncomfortable - on some budget airlines especially - so bring supportive cushions and padding. You can sit on cushions or add padding behind your back. How you arrange your padding will depend on your particular hip problem, but it should help relieve the pain that some modes of transport often cause.
It can help relieve pain while travelling on planes to have extra leg room. With this in mind book early to get seats behind a bulkhead for extra room, or simply an aisle seat so that you can stretch a leg out (when the ever-present trolly isn’t doing its rounds!).
Skip the queues
If waiting in long lines at airports is likely to cause you discomfort, then avoid queuing altogether! You can do this by travelling at quieter times or by paying a little extra for priority boarding - although you won’t be the only person with this idea. If you are disabled get in touch with the airport and they will arrange for a comfortable boarding process with no queues at all.
Don’t carry heavy cases
You can avoid carrying heavy bags by using luggage trolleys or cases with wheels. Also consider weight when packing. Do you really need everything in that huge suitcase, or can you survive with a wheeled cabin bag?
Keep up the exercise
Low impact, non-weight-bearing cardio can help to strengthen the muscles that support your joints, so try to exercise regularly in the run-up to your trip, and keep up the effort while you’re away. Walking, swimming and cycling are all great exercises for people trying to reduce hip pain, so have a stroll around the towns you visit, or take a dip in your hotel pool! It’s best to limit your workouts to 30 minutes, but regular exercise really can help your joints, your general fitness and even your mood.
Enjoy the heat
Hot and cold can be great for stiffness and pain, and while you’re likely to be able to find an ice pack wherever you go, think about booking a hotel or villa with a hot tub, heated swimming pool and even a sauna! Doesn’t sound too awful, right?
For many people holidays are all about food and drink. And this needn’t exclude you if you suffer from hip pain. It’s important to remember that the fatty, high calorie foods often available at airports and train stations can promote inflammation, so avoid those and take some healthy snacks with you for your journey. And thankfully there are plenty of delicious, healthy foods served in holiday destinations around the world that you’re welcome to enjoy.
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At Ramsay you won’t have to wait for an appointment for your surgery. Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and self-pay packages are available on request. We have first class facilities and all self-funding and most privately insured patients can enjoy our Private Patient Pledge offering exclusive benefits including superb food, a relaxing environment, priority access and appointments to suit your lifestyle. Our aim is to help you feel like a guest as well as a patient.
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