Vacations can be a pain, literally, for arthritis sufferers, but a Pennsylvania doctor says it doesn't have to be that way.
In an issue of AIMplus, an arthritis information magazine, Dr. Warren A. Katz, chief of the rheumatology division at the Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, offered some travel tips for people with arthritis: _ Plan your trip as far ahead as possible; avoid scheduling too much sightseeing in one day; make sure you set aside several rest periods each day. "Pacing is crucial to a successful vacation," he says.
_ On planes, trains or buses, try to do range-of-motion exercises for your neck, hands, elbows, and feet. Get up and stretch every hour.
_ If prolonged standing is required, try to use a folding canvas seat or a cane with an attached seat.
_ Consider taking a cane on your trip, even if you don't ordinarily use one.
_ Wear comfortable and supportive shoes.
_ Bring extra medication. Keep some with you in addition to that in your suitcase.
_ Keep a brief outline of your condition and the types of medication you are taking in a pocket or purse. Also, ask your doctor to provide the name of a reliable hospital or doctor in the city you're visiting.
_ Be prepared for all weather conditions.