Pain Sufferers: Staying Pain SAFE during Your Travels

Whether you’re traveling for the holidays, vacation, work, or to seek medical care out of town, taking a trip can be extra hard on someone with chronic pain. The stress and strain of travel can derail even the best efforts to keep pain levels low, especially if you don’t plan ahead. To help you and your loved ones anticipate and minimize potential problems, the American Pain Foundation (APF), a NCPIE member, has created a number of resources including: Your Pain and Travel Guide, How to Prepare Before You Go – a new 24-page booklet with basic travel and safety information including steps to take before you leave, Dos and Don’ts during your trip, issues specific to airport security checkpoints and other modes of transportation, travel must haves including a personal “less pain” travel kit and other travel-related resources. As many veteran travelers living with pain will tell you, advanced planning, open communication (about your condition and special needs) and patience can make your journey a lot easier. For example, before you go it’s a good rule of thumb to: •Check in with your health care provider. He or she may want to see you depending on how you’re feeling, where you are heading and how long you’ll be gone. •Ask how you can best keep up with medication(s) and non-drug pain therapies while you’re away. •Know who you should contact at your destination if you have a medical problem. •Pack lightly. •Call ahead to flag your reservation, especially if you need any special arrangements or services. •Bring copies of your insurance cards and medical documents. •Talk with travel companions to manage expectations.