Arthritis is pretty common, but often misunderstood. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions that can affect people of all ages, sexes and races. Joint symptoms can include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. The symptoms may come and go, they can be mild or severe, they could stay the same or get worse over time. Regardless of when it hits, here are 5 things you should avoid to help protect your joints:
This one seems obvious, but make sure to avoid or modify activities that cause you pain. No matter what you’re doing take frequent breaks and don’t rush. If pain lasts more than an hour after an activity that means it’s been stressful on your joints.
Avoid using a tight grip
Don’t hold things tighter than necessary. Avoid carrying heavy things by the handle and don’t be afraid to use tools that can make things easier, like a jar opener for example. Modify tasks as needed, instead of wringing out a cloth press the water out with your palms.
Avoid pressure against the backs of your fingers
Things like resting your chin on the backs of your fingers or pushing up off a chair with a closed fist should be avoided. When you’re getting up, use your palm to push yourself up while holding your fingers straight.
Avoid prolonged periods of holding the same position
Make sure to change positions and stretch every 15 to 20 minutes. If the task takes more than 10 minutes take a seat, but not for longer than 20 to 30 minutes. Keep moving to avoid repetitive strains.
Avoid pinching items between your thumb and your finger
Everyday tasks like writing, holding a book or plate to simply squeezing out toothpaste should all be done using just your palms. If you’re holding something for a long period of time (like a book) find something to do the holding for you.