Nothing says “You’re getting old.” quite like arthritis. What starts out as not being able to touch your toes and decreased flexibility becomes stiff joints and pain. Arthritis is not a curable condition, though there are preventive measures you may consider to relieve pain and possibly prevent the severity of the condition. So whether you are desk bound for most of your day or performing physical labor, keep these ideas in mind…
Balance periods of rest and activity throughout the day . Work at a steady moderate pace. Take stretch breaks.
Use strongest joints for the task . Save certain tasks for stronger joints. (Like carrying objects with your hand open to distribute on your forearm.)
Understand your pain . Note activities that caused soreness and think of ways to modify action.
Move each joint through its full range of motion once a day. Keep movement slow and gentle to avoid strain.
Watch the hands. Put less stress on your hands by avoiding motions that push your other fingers toward your little (pinky) finger, avoid making tight fists, and avoid pinching things between your thumb and fingers. (Hold jars and books palm open. Use shoulder strap versus clutch purses.)
Employ good body mechanics . This includes:
- When sitting, have your work surface two inches below your elbows. Forearms and upper legs level with the floor.
- Use wrist or arm supports while at a desk.
- When standing or sitting, don’t stoop or slouch.
- Increase the height of your chair to decrease strain when standing or sitting.
- Carry heavy object close to your chest and balance on forearms.
- Maintain good posture at all times.
There are a wealth of other helpful suggestions via Arthritis Foundation website. If your arthritis is persistant and painful, consult a Pain Management Physician, Rheumatologist, or Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Doctor for options.