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Strengthen your knees to help manage osteoarthritis pain.

Don’t Let Travel Trip Up Your Knees

A vacation is all about getting relaxed and refreshed. But if you’re sidetracked from exercise while away, you could return home feeling worse than before you left.

A 2008 report found strong evidence that regular exercise reduces knee pain and improves physical function in people with osteoarthritis of the knee (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews). Yet, it’s easy to lose sight of those benefits when you’re busy sightseeing. Even if you’re a dedicated exerciser at home, you may be tempted to slack off while out of town.

Fortunately, travel doesn’t have to trip up your exercise routine. With a little planning, you can stay active on vacation — and you won’t have to sacrifice your precious R&R time.

Getting around

The best time to start thinking about your knees is before your vacation even starts. While you’re still traveling to your destination, get up and walk around as often as possible. You’ll not only be working in some activity but also helping avoid any stiffness that could slow you down once you arrive at your destination.

A knee with osteoarthritis is particularly prone to stiffness when held in one position for too long. Keep moving as much as you can, which helps lubricate and nourish the joint surface and minimize stiffness. If you’re traveling by car, take a break to stretch your legs every hour or so. If you’re traveling by plane, walk in the airport before boarding and up the aisle of the plane when the seatbelt light is turned off.

Once you reach your destination, do at least some of your sightseeing by foot or pedal power. You’ll see more and spend less on gas or cab fare. Walking and cycling are excellent ways to exercise your legs. Just be sure not to overdo it. If you plan an active morning, schedule a more restful afternoon or vice versa.

Exercising your options

If there’s a pool where you’ll be staying, swimming or water exercises are especially good for your knees because they offer low-impact exercise. Even if you’re not a frequent swimmer at home, this is an opportunity to try something new that’s also good for your knees. If there’s a fitness center at your hotel, you can use a treadmill, elliptical machine or stationary bike to get your legs moving and your heart pumping.

What if the weather isn’t cooperating outside, and you don’t have access to indoor fitness facilities? No problem. There are still ways to keep moving:

  • Walk up and down the hotel hallway. Then take the stairs to the next floor and repeat.
  • Stretch with gentle yoga or tai chi moves. Many don’t require much space, so you can do them in your hotel room. In addition to reducing knee stiffness and pain, yoga and tai chi are great for relieving the stress that often goes along with travel.
  • Stay strong with resistance bands. These stretchy bands, easily slipped into your suitcase, can be used for whole-body strength training. Strong leg muscles, in particular, help support your knees and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Follow a fitness video. If you’ve packed your laptop, we have online video demonstrations of simple stretching and strengthening exercises.

Whatever you do, have fun. Remember: You’re on vacation!

PLEASE NOTE: This article is adapted from Arthritis Today®, the health magazine published by the Arthritis Foundation® and is presented for informational purposes only. This information is not meant to take the place of the advice of your doctor. By providing you with this information, Sanofi Biosurgery is not endorsing its content nor does it represent that the information is necessarily appropriate for you. You should consult with your doctor before starting any new health or exercise regimen.

The views presented herein are solely those of Arthritis Today and their publisher the Arthritis Foundation. Sanofi Biosurgery does not have any input in, or editorial control over Arthritis Today and is not responsible for its content. Arthritis Today is a registered trademark of the Arthritis Foundation.

Reference

“Exercise for Osteoarthritis of the Knee.” M. Fransen and S. McConnell. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2008, iss. 4, art. no. CD004376.

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Indication

Synvisc-One® (hylan G-F 20) is indicated for the treatment of pain in osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conservative non-pharmacologic therapy and simple analgesics, e.g., acetaminophen.

Important Safety Information for Synvisc-One

Before trying Synvisc-One, tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face, tongue or throat, respiratory difficulty, rash, itching or hives to SYNVISC or any hyaluronan-based products. Allergic reactions, some which can be potentially severe, have been reported during the use of Synvisc-One. Should not be used in patients with an infected knee joint, skin disease or infection around the area where the injection will be given, and should be used with caution when there is swelling of the legs due to problems with venous stasis or lymphatic drainage.

Synvisc-One is only for injection into the knee, performed by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. Synvisc-One has not been tested to show pain relief in joints other than the knee. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to products from birds – such as feathers, eggs or poultry – or if your leg is swollen or infected.

Synvisc-One has not been tested in children (≤21years old), pregnant women or women who are nursing. You should tell your doctor if you think you are pregnant or if you are nursing a child.

Talk to your doctor before resuming strenuous weight-bearing activities after treatment.

The side effects sometimes seen after Synvisc-One include (<2% each): pain, swelling, heat, redness, and/or fluid build-up in or around the knee. Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects after treatment with Synvisc-One.

 

View the Complete Prescribing Information for Synvisc-One

 

Indication

SYNVISC® (hylan G-F 20) is used to relieve knee pain due to osteoarthritis (OA). It is for patients who do not get enough relief from simple painkillers such as acetaminophen, or from exercise and physical therapy.

Important Safety Information for SYNVISC

Before trying SYNVISC, tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face, tongue or throat, respiratory difficulty, rash, itching or hives to SYNVISC or any hyaluronan-based products. Serious allergic reactions have been reported. Should not be used in patients with an infected knee joint, skin disease or infection around the area where the injection will be given, or circulatory problems in the legs.

SYNVISC is only for injection into the knee, performed by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. SYNVISC has not been tested to show pain relief in joints other than the knee. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to products from birds - such as feathers, eggs or poultry - or if your leg is swollen or infected.

SYNVISC has not been tested in children (≤21years old), pregnant women or women who are nursing. You should tell your doctor if you think you are pregnant or if you are nursing a child. Talk to your doctor before resuming strenuous weight-bearing activities after treatment.

The side effects sometimes seen after SYNVISC include pain, swelling, heat, redness, and/or fluid buildup in or around the knee. These reactions were generally mild and did not last long, but in rare occasions these side effects were more severe. The most commonly occurring adverse events outside of the injected knee were rash, fever, nausea, and headache.

View the Complete Prescribing Information for SYNVISC

-
Important Safety Information: SYNVISC and Synvisc-One are contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to hyaluronan products or patients with infections in or around the target knee.