Sep 10, 2018
Six Tips to Help Make Every Day Activities Easier with Arthritis
Our bodies go through a lot every day. For most, that nagging joint pain isn’t due to a tough gym session or a heavy duty yard day. For those that suffer from arthritis, ordinary and routine activities are the surprising culprits behind these aches and pains. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help ease arthritis symptoms while going about everyday life. Try these six tips to help make every day activities easier with arthritis.
Working on a computer.
Prolonged and repetitive movements over your keyboard affect the muscles that control the hands and wrists. Not only does computer work impact the wrists, but sitting at a desk all day can contribute to lower back issues while looking up at a screen or down at documents can lead to neck strain. The key to making your day easier is periods of rest. Even short breaks in activity can greatly help to reduce strain. Set a timer that alerts you every hour to stand up and walk around, stretching your body and wrists. Ensure your desk has an ergonomic setup. Use quality, adjustable seating, try document holders that attach to your computer, and research wrist rests.
Driving your car.
When driving, you experience all kinds of stresses that affect your body. Unfortunately, traffic isn’t the only problem for arthritis sufferers. Long commutes can aggravate your lower back while gripping the steering wheel can lead to hand and wrist discomfort. Take the time to adjust your driving position so your shoulders are relaxed and comfortable. Make sure your head rest is in the best location to offer neck support and contribute to good posture. Try a padded wheel cover and be sure to utilize cruise control to give your knee and ankle some relief.
Using your phone.
Whether you are trying to grip your phone in your hand or dropping your neck to read a text message, phone usage is a big problem for arthritis sufferers. Holding the phone to your ear or cradling it between your ear and shoulder can harm your arm, neck and shoulder joints. Try using speaker phone whenever possible to help reduce the pain from this. Every time you look down your neck strains to support the weight of your head. In the future, lift your device in front of you to avoid bending your neck.
Mundane household chores involve a mixture of movements that utilize your whole body, creating various stresses and strains. Repetitive motions, such a vacuuming or scrubbing, force awkward and uncomfortable positions and can take a toll on the body. Try warming up and cooling down before and after your chores. Be sure to engage core muscles to support your lower back when performing the tasks that involved bending and reaching. Make sure you allow yourself time to take breaks and do small stretches as well.
No one loves it, but it has to be done. Unfortunately, for those with arthritis, not only is grocery shopping one of the most boring tasks, but it’s also one of the most pain-inducing. Roaming the aisles, looking up to the top shelf for that one item, pushing bulky carts and lifting heavy bags are terrible for muscles and joints. To make your trip to the store easier, make sure you choose a good cart with no wheel issues. Wear good shoes that will support your back and knees as your trek through the store. Ask the cashier not to over pack your shopping bags, and don’t be afraid to request help loading the bags into your car.
Preparing for bed.
While living with arthritis is never easy, there are many gadgets that make life easier, so utilize them! Invest in an electric toothbrush and a water flosser to limit gripping and reduce pain. Make sure your room is clutter free and at a lower temperature to ensure a good night’s rest. Keep a step stool nearby to make getting in and out of bed a breeze. Look into some quality pillows and a sturdy mattress to help keep you comfortable and reduce morning joint stiffness.
The best approach to making daily life easier is by making our health a top priority. Increasing mobility with consistent exercise, making good diet choices that contribute to healthy joints, staying hydrated, and getting a good night’s sleep are all good lifestyle choices that will help reduce pain and make life easier. Don’t let stiff and achy joints hold you back from living your best life possible. For more monthly tips on reclaiming your health, contact us today and keep following Carolina Arthritis!