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As a pharmacist, I saw a constant stream of arthritis sufferers.
When I talked to them about things they could do to make their lives easier, I was surprised to find that many of them had not been informed about things they could do to make their day run more smoothly and reduce risk of further damage to joints.
For arthritis sufferers, certain activities may be more challenging than others, but there is almost always something that you can do to make things easier on yourself. Here are a few examples:
For activities that require a tight grip, use thick-handled tools and utensils to reduce strain.
Some tasks, such as using a knife to cut toast or sandwiches, put direct pressure on your fingers and thumbs. Find alternative tools to complete these tasks, such as using a pizza cutter instead of a knife to cut food.
Opening jars requires pinching, squeezing and twisting that can be hard on joints. Try using a jar opener or rubber gripper to open lids.
Don't stay in the same position for extended periods of time, or if you do, be aware of your body. Check your jaw, neck, hands, shoulders, arms, hips, legs, back and feet for signs of strain. Remember to stretch and relax, and constantly check your posture. Poor posture distributes weight unevenly, so you could strain joints and ligaments.
Don't let yourself become too fatigued during an activity. Fatigue increases the risk of accidents and injuries, so take a rest and give your body a break.
When lifting, let your largest muscles do the work. Squat to pick up an object, or sit in a chair to bend. To open a heavy door, lean into it with your whole body.
When carrying heavy loads, distribute the pressure by keeping the weight close to your body. Use paper bags instead of plastic at the grocery store, carry a shoulder bag instead of a handbag, and use both hands to lift anything heavy.
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