Joint pain impacts millions of Americans, and whether you suffer from a chronic condition like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, or just have sore joints from everyday life, it can severely impact how you live.
But you know, even if you do have one of these conditions, you can stop the pain from getting worse. And if you don’t suffer from one of these conditions, there are ways you can prevent them, too. Sometimes slight alterations to the simple things you do every single day can have big results, saving you pain and discomfort, thereby improving your overall quality of life.
Four Tips for Ending or Preventing Joint Pain and Damage
1. Make Greater Use of Your Stronger Joints and Muscles
By paying attention to how you move, it’s possible to take pressure off your joints. For example, utilizing your stronger joints and muscles is a way to limit pain in smaller joints like the fingers and wrists. Also, by transferring weight to your muscles by not fully extending legs and arms when you walk or hold heavy things, you can ease some of the burden on your joints.
2. Stop Carrying Bags with Your Hands or Wrists
When you carry a purse or bag for example, avoid carrying it in your hands to take pressure off your fingers and wrists. Hold your purse or tote bag over your shoulder or across your body to distribute the weight. If you’ve got grocery bags with handles, either invest in a cart to pull them or carry a bag or two with your forearm, sliding your hand and wrist completely through the handle.
3. Go Hands-Free When Using Phones
Another daily occurrence that can wreak havoc on your joints is talking on the phone. Keeping your elbow, wrist, and hand locked in the same position for an extended period of time isn’t going to help lessen the pain. Thankfully, there are a number of available hands-free alternatives that can help relieve the stress. For example, you can get a “Bluetooth” headset, use the “speaker” feature on your phone, or link your telephone to your computer.
4. Put Your Body Weight Into Cleaning
Cleaning accessories like vacuums, brooms, and mops can also put pressure on your joints, specifically the shoulder, elbow, hands, and wrists. The best way to alleviate the pressure here is to use your body weight to push them around. Hold the cleaning tool at your side with your arms down, and simply walk it around the room. Avoid the rowing motion you likely used in your younger days!
Protecting your joints by using your muscles and total body strength is the best way to ease stress and pain on the joints. Be mindful of these recommendations and hopefully you’ll experience improved joint function, less pain, and a better quality of life.
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Sources for Today’s Article:
Scott, R., “Pain-Free Grocery Shopping,” Arthritis Foundation web site, 2015; http://www.arthritistoday.org/what-you-can-do/everyday-solutions/do-it-easier/kitchen/shopping-tips.php.
Milbrand, L., “11 Shortcuts to a Clean House,” Arthritis Foundation web site, 2015; http://www.arthritistoday.org/what-you-can-do/everyday-solutions/do-it-easier/housework/seven-cleaning-shortcuts.php.
Bernstein, S., “Arthritis on the Job,” Arthritis Foundation web site, 2015; http://www.arthritistoday.org/what-you-can-do/everyday-solutions/work/arthritis-on-the-job.php.
Arthritis Today Staff, “Smart Moves for Safe Cleaning,” Arthritis Foundation web site, 2015; http://www.arthritistoday.org/what-you-can-do/everyday-solutions/do-it-easier/housework/safe-cleaning.php.
“Rheumatoid Arthritis” Arthritis Foundation web site, 2015; http://www.arthritis.org/arthritis-facts/disease-center/rheumatoid-arthritis.php.