Traveling with Chronic Pain

Traveling with Chronic Pain

Published: July 2, 2018

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health recently reported that roughly 11.2% of the national population lives with some form of chronic pain while 17.6% experiences severe levels of pain. Because chronic pain does not usually appear for days, weeks, months or even years after the initial causal event, it can be difficult to identify. For the 25.3 million adults affected, detection and proper chronic pain treatment are vital on the road toward pain management and recovery.

Generally, chronic pain is classified as pain that lasts six months or longer. Whereas acute pain typically lasts for a short duration and goes away once it has been treated, chronic pain can linger for months or years. Chronic pain can be caused by a multitude of factors. Some of the most common include:

  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia (muscle pain)
  • Untreated Infection
  • Nerve System Damage
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Injury History
  • Past Surgeries/Medical Operations
  • Back Problems

Compared to acute pain, a diagnosis that is typically temporary and easily identifiable, chronic pain can come and go with obscurity and can leave sufferers feeling frustrated and confused. Those living with chronic pain may find it tough to relieve discomfort on a day to day basis; and when you travel, it becomes even more difficult.

Chronic Pain On The Road: Pack For Two

As you can probably guess, chronic pain does not travel well. Because of the unavoidable physical stress that comes with traveling, effects of chronic pain can be heightened during your journey. When you embark on a trip, proper chronic pain management is essential. Whether on vacation or traveling for work, the last thing you want to do is worry about pain flaring up and preventing you from maximizing your trip.

There are a few important factors to be aware of when traveling with chronic pain:

  • Preparation and strategizing is key.
    • When planning the logistics of a trip, you’ll always want to keep your chronic pain a priority. If possible, add time to your itinerary. Stress levels often increase as the time needed to handle departure and layover schedules increase.
  • Appropriate clothing goes a long way.
    • Assuming you are not restricted by some type of business trip dress code, loose fitting clothing is ideal.
    • If you will be sitting for a long time, compression socks or leggings can help prevent circulation issues in your legs and feet.
  • Move around as much as possible.
    • Especially when you are sitting for extended periods of time, chronic pain in various regions can become aggravated and can sometimes lead to the rise of new issues as well.
  • Make your trip physically easy on yourself when possible.
    • Enlist the help of porters and bellhops at hotels.
    • Check your baggage so you don’t have to carry it around.
    • If you know you are going to be somewhere uncomfortable or squeezed into a small space for an extended amount of time, bring a neck pillow. Even a small adjustment like stabilizing your neck’s range of motion on a long journey can do wonders to temper your chronic neck and shoulder pain.
  • Drink water!
    • Hydration can help keep your body healthy and your muscles from tightening up and cramping during travel.

Chronic Muscle Pain

One type of chronic pain frequently exacerbated when traveling (especially extended intervals of sitting) is muscle pain. When placed under stressful conditions for a significant period of time, you might experience chronic muscle pain in the muscles that support your skeleton.

Many times, chronic muscle pain results in muscle spasms. Muscle pain can occur in any part of your body where there are muscles. Any pain which lingers in your muscles for longer than six months should be considered as chronic and treated as such.


Treating Chronic Pain

No one should have to deal with untreated chronic pain while traveling in confined spaces with the demanding conditions and added mental strain of itineraries and departure times. If you are living with chronic pain, come visit the specialists at Consultants in Pain Medicine today. Dr. Martinez and his staff offer all types of treatment options, including medication, injection, surgery and even regenerative cell treatment and other less-invasive alternatives to surgery. We can help minimize pain from a number of medical conditions, including (but not limited to):

  • Nerve pain
  • Lumbar pain
  • Muscular pain
  • Joint pain
  • Back pain
  • Neck/shoulder pain

For more information, or to find out which of our three San Antonio pain clinics is closest to you, contact the knowledgeable San Antonio pain specialists at Dr. Martinez’s office today. Dr. Raul Martinez and his experienced team of doctors and nurse practitioners have more than 18 years dealing with patients seeking chronic pain relief in San Antonio.

Contact our doctors and view possible treatment options today.

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