How to Protect Yourself from Joint Pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive autoimmune condition that can damage joints over time. Treatment helps, but there are simple techniques you can use in everyday life to take pressure off joints and help prevent long-term damage and relief from joint pain.
People don’t have to be struggling it’s just a matter of changing how they do things. If you have rheumatoid or another type of arthritis, take small daily steps to protect yourself.
Here are some small recommendations that could bring big gains in long-term joint protection.
Don’t lift, heavy objects
It’s not only safer, but probably easier to slide heavy objects across a counter rather than lifting them. For instance when shopping for groceries at the supermarket.
In fact, it’s a good idea in general to avoid heavy lifting, pushing and pulling if you have RA as these can put undue stress on joints that are already vulnerable.
Choose the biggest and strongest joint for the job
The smallest joints are the most vulnerable to damage. Transferring pressure to larger muscle groups protects those smaller ones. This means using a purse with a shoulder strap instead of a clutch purse that might strain your fingers.
You can also protect your hand from joint pain by looping a grocery bag over your forearm or cradling it against your body instead of carrying it in your hand. And use your shoulder to open a door rather than your hand.
Use two hands instead of one
Two-thirds of people with rheumatoid arthritis have problems with their hands and wrists. Minimize stress on these areas by using two hands instead of one to pick up a carton of milk or the kettle. This will distribute the weight more evenly.
Re-organize shelves and drawers
When arranging storage space, place the objects that you use most often at the waist height and close to the front. This reduces the effort of having to reach up or bend down to grip things, both activities which can place stress on joints, including your back, knees, and hips.
Take advantage of devices
A helpful device can be as simple as needle-nose pliers to pull cotton out of medicine bottles or automatic can and jar openers to save your hands.
Long shoe horns or long-handled bath sponges will reduce stress on shoulders. And, in general, products such as pens and toothbrushes with bigger grips are easier for people with rheumatoid arthritis to use. The bigger the grip the less stressful on the joints of your hands.
Hold books in the palm of your hands
This avoids possible overuse of fragile finger muscles. You could also use a book stand or prop your novel on a tabletop rather than holding it. Also, turning the pages with a pencil eraser rather than your fingers will reduce wear and tear on this joint as well.
Ease out of a chair with an open palm
Or else use your thigh muscles, but avoid pushing up from the back of your fingers in a clenched fist. That places pressure on the joints. Chairs with arms are also easier to get out of, as are higher seats, such as raised shower seats.
If you don’t want to invest in special chairs, use cushions to raise the height. And make sure your weight is planted evenly over your feet before standing up.
Buy light-weight products and appliances
Whenever possible, purchase lighter less bulkier products. Choose light-weight aluminum pots and pans instead of cast iron, and select the lightest-weight product you can for the purpose it’s used for, whether it’s an iron, a vacuum cleaner, anything that is frequently used around the home.
Adapt clothing and jewelry
Repeatedly trying to manage tiny buttons on clothing, clasps on jewelry may not be the best idea of your joints. Choose clothing with larger buttons or alter the clothing you already have.
Change minuscule buttons to snaps or even Velcro. Use elastic laces in your shoes. Add large rings to zipper pulls. Magnetic clasps on earrings and other jewelry enable you to pull the pieces apart without a lot of pressure to help reduce joint pain.
Dress and undress carefully
Dressing can still be difficult even without delicate buttons and clasps, but certain actions can help things along. If you’re pulling a garment over your head, put your arms in front of you, push the sleeves up past the elbows then flip the neck hole over your head. To undress, don’t struggle to pull one arm at a time out of a slip over.
Instead, reach one arm around to the neck hole at the back of the head and pull the shirt straightforward and over your head.
Rheumatoid arthritis can attack at any age, can come on rapidly, and may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as fatigue. So it’s important that once you recognize that you may have symptoms that you are careful in performing everyday tasks. I hope that this article raises some practical ways that can assist you to protect your joints from damage.