Are your knees vacation ready?
It’s that time of year – time when many of us are taking a vacation. The kids or grandkids are out of school and you are ready to hit the road or the skies for a much needed break. Vacations usually take some time to plan and being vacation ready is so very important. Vacation ready means so many things. Do you have the right luggage, have you bought your tickets, rented a car and is your itinerary planned and scheduled?
But vacation ready also means your body – your back, feet, legs, hips and knees. Are they ready for vacation and all that will be expected of them?
Is your body and more specifically your knees vacation ready?
Are you worried your knees will ache during your upcoming long car or airplane ride? Do you have anxiety over knee pain slowing you down while walking along the beach or hiking trail? Is the thought of standing in lines waiting for rides, shows or even entrance to your theme park making you lose sleep before you even leave your house? Afraid that you won’t be able to keep up with family and friends on your dream vacation?
Knee pain unfortunately can strike at all different times. Sitting in tight, no-room-to-stretch airline seats, bouncing trains or cars, and even sitting in one position for too long can exacerbate pre-existing knee conditions or create knee stiffness and muscular cramping. You could experience knee pain while sitting (in the car, airplane or a Broadway show) while standing (in long lines like in Disney World or Six Flags) or while walking or climbing stairs at your hotel or vacation rental. Knee pain is one of the most common complaints we hear at our clinic and we understand your worry, anxiety and frustration.
Whether it’s arthritis, runner’s knee, IT band issues, or other knee conditions causing you discomfort or pain, employing these helpful strategies can reduce or eliminate knee pain while traveling.
Top Tips for Traveling with Knee Pain
Our expert physical therapists have put together their top tips for traveling with knee pain. These tips will help you reduce your knee pain and get back to the vacation you have been waiting for
Tips for Flying with Knee Pain
- Secure an aisle seat – if possible select an aisle seat so your potential troublesome knee can stretch out.
- Pay if possible for a seat with extra leg room – if you can financially swing it – pay for an upgraded seat with more leg space.
- Wear comfortable shoes – wearing supportive shoes while walking through the airport will give your knees and feet the comfort they long for.
- Get up and move around – if possible, get up and move around the airplane to stretch your legs to prevent cramping and stiffness.
- Bring short term pain relief – meds or ice pack – remember to pack some over the counter pain meds and an ice pack to assist with short term relief.
Tips for Driving or Riding with Knee Pain
- Dress comfortably – wearing loose fitting clothing will make moving or shifting in the car easier.
- Plan breaks – Breaks are key – not only for your knees but for your back, bottom and of course your bladder.
- Don’t sit too long in the same position – try to shift position within the car to prevent stiffness and cramping.
- Move the seat back in the car more leg room if not driving – moving the seat back allows your legs to stretch and move easier.
- Use cruise control when it is safe to stretch legs if driving – If you are able to use the cruise control when driving – you could stretch and move your legs to increase your blood flow and ease pain.
Stretches to help with knee pain while traveling
In the following video, Dr. Sarah shares some more helpful tips for stretching and self trigger point release techniques while traveling to ease your knee pain. You only need your elbows and a tennis ball for these simple yet very effective releases. These stretches can be completed while sitting on an airplane or in the car and only take a few minutes.
However if you’re looking for more help beyond some simple basics and your pain is not something you want to worry about during your vacation, then there is good news – Knee pain can be DRASTICALLY reduced or eliminated with only a few sessions with a specialized physical therapist. In fact, we help people with knee pain all the time!
How Physical Therapy can help Knee Pain
Knee pain can come from many sources. Here at Balance Within Physical Therapy, we not only look at your knee but we look at your whole body. We take the time to assess your core and body alignment and your body mechanics (how you walk, sit and stand). We also look at what is happening above and below your knees. Testing the strength of your knee along with the lower half of your body (core, glutes/hip muscles, quads, hamstrings, foot/ankle) and determining whether your knee joint is properly supported & stabilized is also an important part of our evaluation. We will also focus on the fascial (connective tissue) system; are there areas of tissue being too tight/compression surrounding the knee that are causing pain?
Scheduling a few sessions with a Balance Within Physical Therapist before your vacation could help ease your knee pain and ease your concerns/worries about sitting for an extended period or walking more steps than usual. Don’t spend another vacation missing out on activities with your family and friends. We have helped so many clients in the Lake County area solve the mystery of their knee pain. We would love to speak with you and learn more about your vacation goals, help you start troubleshooting things and get clarity as to what’s going on and what your options are for help naturally.
Let’s get you and your knees vacation ready so you don’t have to miss out on vacation fun because of knee pain or the fear of pain. Your upcoming road trip or flight is waiting for you and we can help! Click the button below to request a free knee pain troubleshooting consultation.
Click here to request our free Ease your Knee Pain Guide – it offers some more helpful tips to provide relief for your pain.
We also offer a FREE knee pain troubleshooting session to look at your overall pain issues and look for the root problem. Click here to request a FREE session today!
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