Living with arthritis is different for every patient and symptoms can vary daily. Different treatment and management options exist depending on the type of arthritis you have, its severity, and where you’re affected. The joint stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis can make frequent driving difficult.
Stiffness makes it difficult to turn the steering wheel, depress the gas pedal and brakes, and even turn your head to check your blind spots. It’s a good idea to try out some practical tips for managing your pain when driving.
Make the steering wheel comfortable.
It’s a good idea to invest in a steering wheel cover to help loosen your grip and give painful hands and wrists a break. Some covers have a heating feature that can help relax your joints while driving. Newer car models come with heated steering wheels that are adjustable. You can also invest in a nice pair of leather driving gloves that will help you hold a more comfortable grip.
No matter how good of a driver you are, accidents can happen. The best way to protect yourself in the event of a collision is to carry a sufficient car insurance policy. Many motorists only have the state minimum insurance policy. There are several types of coverage you can choose depending on your driving habits and budget.
Comprehensive coverage is an extensive level of coverage that helps cover the cost of repairs to your own car, while third-party property helps cover property damage you cause to another motorist in a car accident. Compulsory Third Party or Greenslip insurance is minimum coverage insurance that helps cover the cost of claims for bodily injury or death in an at-fault car accident.
The best way to determine how much coverage and what type of coverage is right for you is to compare insurance quotes from different insurance companies. You can find the best rate on car insurance coverage using the car insurance compare tool from iSelect.com.au. A specialist will use your personal information to help you find auto insurance policies from a range of different companies.
You can compare comprehensive insurance policies, car insurance premiums, and optional coverage such as roadside assistance. Keep in mind that auto insurance companies determine your insurance rate based on your zip code, driving record, credit score, marital status, and type of car being insured.
Adjust your position before driving.
Adjust your mirrors to give yourself a wide field of vision and reduce the need to move your head around. You should raise your seat high enough to comfortably see over the dashboard and out the windows. Move your seat forward and use your entire foot to push the pedals if your feet and ankles are stiff. Take advantage of your adaptive cruise control setting when possible to give your feet a break.
It’s important to work with a specialist with extensive experience in rheumatology and your specific arthritis. Your primary care physician can refer you to a rheumatologist to help you explore your symptoms and devise a treatment plan to help alleviate any pain that you may have. You can also do some research to find your own specialist if you prefer. If you’re searching online for “find a rheumatologist near me,” a great resource to use is Medifind.
This platform uses an algorithm to evaluate physicians according to their expertise so you can quickly and easily find a nearby rheumatologist. Simply input your zip code, rheumatology condition, and any physician specifications to find an available rheumatologist near you. Every office has different arrangements with insurance providers, so be sure to call and check if your type of insurance is accepted before your first appointment.
Create a driving schedule around your symptoms.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes extreme fatigue, which means you should plan on driving around your fatigue. Any activities or tasks that require you to drive should be done during the times of day you know you’ll have the most energy. Never get behind the wheel when you’re tired or lack the energy to drive defensively.
It’s a good idea to take driving breaks, especially when driving long distances. Get out of the car every couple of hours to stretch your body and walk around. Sitting in the same static position for a long time is hard on muscles and joints. Make a point of taking breaks before you being to feel a lot of pain and discomfort.
Keep these helpful tips in mind to make frequent driving with arthritis more comfortable.