traveling a 10 hour to 12 hour trip...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 7/16/2010 9:02 AM (GMT -6)   
I would really appreciate some fibro travel tips if you all have any.  I know my body pretty well, but lately it hasn't been the same.  I've been more tired and having these "electric" pattern pains in my wrists and hands and so not I'm not sure.  Plus it's been at least 3 years since my last road trip.
Other occupations: heartburn fighter, migraine massage therapist, fibromyalgia trainer, sinus plummer, allergic vet, weather girl and jar of pickles loosener.

Translation: I have heartburn, IBS(undiagnosed), fibromyalgia, migraine-like headaches, sinus issues, allergies to cigarette smoke, perfume and animals, sensitive to weather-body heat issues and possible RA in hands, wrists and feet.
Scotland the Brave!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 4796
   Posted 7/16/2010 9:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow, that's a long trip! Make sure to wear comfy clothing. Do stop so you can stretch
every hour or so. I always take a muscle relaxer before long road trips. Make sure
to take your meds as scheduled. Make sure your car seat is adjusted...I always give
myself plenty of leg room and even bring something to elevate my feet. Bring some
great music, lots of water and some snacks. Have a great time!!!

Hugs, Robin
Fibromyalgia, MCTD (Lupus, Scleroderma & RA) Raynaud's, Osteoporosis,
Osteoarthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Migraines, and Hypertension
Prescription Meds: Savella, Cyclobenzaprine, Methotrexate, Diltiazem, Boniva,
Folic Acid.  OTC Meds: Multi-vitamin. Vit, D, Vitamin B12 & calciim supplements

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 818
   Posted 7/16/2010 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I just got home from a 3 week car trip. I sat on a little pillow and used a back support thingy that I bought at the drugstore. We stopped frequently and I did various stretches for the legs and back. I tried to change my positions frequently. Hard to do in the car but I would put my feet on the dash etc. Not very ladylike but it felt good. I tried to drink a lot of water and I also had a script for a muscle relaxant if needed. When we stopped at the motel for the night I did more stretches. If the motel had a gym I used the elliptical and then did yoga.

I was actually dreading the trip but I had a great time. We listened to music and I did take a turn at driving (not if I took the medication though).

I hope you will have a wonderful time.

Fibromyalgia, arthritis in spine and hips, IBS, Raynaud's syndrome, hypertension
On the eighth day God created Golden Retrievers.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 447
   Posted 7/16/2010 1:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Well we have no taken any road trips yet this year but are taking off again in September. I agree lots of stops to mave around stretch your legs and give your body a chance to relax awa from the car.
I also put my feet on the dash to give my feet a bit off a rest. Music I can get lost in, in case the pain flares up, I take Baclofen while we are traveling. sleep well if you can the night before you travel. For me sleep cuts the pain down.
Relax and enjoy the view. And have a wonderful time.

Fibromyalgia, CFS, IBS, and lots of others I am not going to write about.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 1556
   Posted 7/16/2010 5:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I guess I have one question. Are you the one thats going to be doing the driving. If you are I would suggest that you not do it all in one day.
Gentle Hugs
DX: Fibro, Gerds, COPD, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, High Blood Pressure, and Depression.
When I get where Im going dont cry for me down here. (Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 7/16/2010 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Shirley just asked what I was going to ask, are you doing the driving, or are you the passenger?

I just did a 10 hour drive in May - I was the driver, no passenger.

First suggestion: If you're the driver, plan your route very carefully and make sure you're completely comfortable with where these roads take you. For me, this meant avoiding the large toll-ways and biggest city's interstate loops. The bumper to bumper traffic of Chicago and St Louis for example make my anxiety go absolutely bonkers and my post traumatic stress kills me later. So, I took a slightly longer route, that went through less stressful interchanges in medium sized cities instead of the big ones. Worth every extra minute and then some for me.

Check if there are any long stretches of road with no exits at all. You don't want to be surprised by having no exits when you need a break. There was a long stretch for me through flat country with no where to stop. I was glad I'd studied the map ahead of time.

If you have the opportunity to stop over night half way through - do it. I didn't have that luxury, but it would have made the whole trip so much more bearable.

Bring your own safe water, beverages and snacks - if you have food issues and find eating out to be difficult.

Practice deep breathing while driving to keep your body relaxed and your mind clear. If you're a passenger, nap whenever you can.

Dress in layers so you can take off, or put back on as your body temp rises and falls. If you're a passenger, bring comfy pillows or plush blankets to make yourself more comfortable.

Play music to take your mind off the road. Bring some of your own music just in case some of the radio stations are bad. ;-)

If you're traveling with someone else, try to stop at least every 2 hours to stretch and walk around. I was traveling alone, so I wasn't comfortable stopping by myself much and pushed through - this was hard on me and I don't recommend pushing through.

If I think of anything else, I'll come back.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 7/16/2010 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
If you find that heating pads help you, they sell heating pads that plug into cigarette lighters. I've seen them online but I never looked for one in a store.

I like Salon-pas patches. They are expensive in drug stores but bulk stores like Costco are more reasonable. I put them on my shoulders, upper arms, or forearms, where ever it hurts when I'm driving.

Thermacare heatwraps can be helpful. I move them around after they are activated instead of always keeping them in one place. They have a great on that goes on your upper back.

As you can see, I like heat. If you are someone that finds cold helpful, you can freeze water bottles and keep them in a cooler so you can hold them where you need them. You can also stick a bag of frozen peas in a zip-lock and keep that in your cooler with a bag of ice. I use ace bandages, wrapped loosely, to keep the bag of peas where I want it. When it gets warm, throw it back in the cooler for a while.

If you aren't the driver, move around a lot. You might try sitting in the back for a bit. Depending on the car, you can stretch your legs out to the side and still stay safely bucked in.

Put some tennis balls on the floor of the car and roll them under your bare feet. Just be really careful they don't go on the driver's side - they can be dangerous. If you are the driver, roll the balls under your bare feet when you take a break. Use gentle or hard pressure depending on your preference. You can also put the balls in a long sock and put them behind your back where ever you have spasms or knots.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 7/16/2010 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I travle that far for one of my drs stop every hour check out parks threw ur way so you can stop and just relaxs for 15 or so mins and if posable pain medcation and pillows no tight clothes i wear my pj's and dont care wat people think lol blanket if not driveing

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 220
   Posted 7/17/2010 12:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Yea, if you are a small person you can stretch out in the back seat.

At the very least, hopefully you are traveling in something decent like a Lexus or Mercedes where the seats are bit more nice and the car is roomy! If not, rent one or something upscale. Your body will thank you!

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 7/29/2010 9:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all so much for the helpful tips!  I never would hae thought of the heating pad the plugs into the lighter and the tennis balls.  I am traveling with my husband and we are going to see his dad.  We haven't seen his new place yet so we're excited.  Not too much about the girlfriend, but him at least. blush    I do love heat.  Its strange how I like to keep the house cool or cold and put on a bunch of layers.  I suppose its a nesting thing like when animals circle before they lay down because they are clearing the tall grass.  Its comfy to be snuggled up in soft stuff.  I'm just excited to have a week off I can enjoy and no one's dying!  I haven't had one in 3 tears.  I'll be posting middle of next month after my rheumy appointment to let everyone know if I did check out for rheumatiod arthritis.  Fingers crossed!
Other occupations: heartburn fighter, migraine massage therapist, fibromyalgia trainer, sinus plummer, allergic vet, weather girl and jar of pickles loosener.

Translation: I have heartburn, IBS(undiagnosed), fibromyalgia, migraine-like headaches, sinus issues, allergies to cigarette smoke, perfume and animals, sensitive to weather-body heat issues and possible RA in hands, wrists and feet.
Scotland the Brave!

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/22/2015 10:36 AM (GMT -6)   
First.......good for you for getting out and traveling. We all must "try" to lead as normal life as we can. I travel a bit. A nice soft pillow behind your back or neck. Seat back off and on to relieve muscle stress. Take short breaks and walk around at rest stops. Lots of water. Your bed pillow and blankey to lay down in back seat as to stretch out muscles. Music that makes you feel good and/or relaxed. Sometimes I use a good ole 50' 60's just to jump start my mood and keep my mind off the pain. It works. Good Luck to all who travel.........practice is close to perfect with Fibro.
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