Make Household Chores Easier With Arthritis
If you struggle with the pain and stiffness of arthritis, you know how challenging even simple tasks around the home can be. Follow these tips to make projects easier and less painful, and you’ll have your house in top shape for the upcoming holiday season!
Keep Things Close
Try to avoid reaching overhead or bending low, to help you maintain your balance and make jobs and daily tasks easier. Keep frequently-used items within easy reach. Store clothes, food and toiletries between your waist and should level. Keep a sturdy stool on hand for times when you have to reach for things overhead.
If you live in a two-story home, trudging up and down the stairs can be difficult. Try to keep items that you use frequently on the level where you spend most of your time.
Embrace Today’s Devices
A raised toilet seat can reduce the pain and discomfort of sitting on a too-low toilet. Pincer-grasp reachers are available in a variety of price points, and they are invaluable for picking items up from the floor. Tap turners can help you get a better grip on faucets, and tools with ergonomically designed handles will ease the pain of doing home projects.
Get Into Position
It’s easier and less stressful to push your vacuum cleaner, rather than to pull it. Focus on using good posture: keep you head aligned with your spine and try not to bend your wrists when holding handles.
Invest in a Foldable Dolly
Make light work of heavy loads. Use a wheeled cart to move boxes, bags of groceries or other heavy objects.
Switch up how you move. Do some back and forth motions, then change to circular motions, to avoid repetitive injuries. Give cleaning products time to work before you start scrubbing. Once they’ve had a chance to break down the grime, it’s easier to wipe it away.
Add Some Softness to Your Life
Wrap foam or tape around the handles of knives, pans and other objects, to make them easier to grip. The extra padding may help to ease pressure on your hands.
If you or someone you know is dealing with pain, stiffness, tingling, numbness or swelling in the hands, wrist, arms or shoulders, contact Dr. Rehman today. She is a specially trained orthopedic doctor who specializes in injuries and diseases of the upper extremities. She will conduct a complete evaluation to determine the exact cause of the problem, and then design an individualized, comprehensive program utilizing the least-invasive approaches to help you return to full use of the affected area.
Macomb County Arthritis Doctor: 586-532-0803
Simple Steps To Make Living With Arthritis Easier
Arthritis is inflammation in the joints. Most joints in the body have the potential to develop arthritis, which causes swelling, stiffness, pain, a reduction in mobility of the joint, and sometimes deformity.
There are generally two types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the more common, and tends to worsen over time. It can be the result of a traumatic injury or a defect in the cartilage; the smooth white tissue that cushions bones in the joint where they come together. Osteoarthritis affects the large weight-bearing joints in the body, such as the knees, hips, shoulder and spine, but it can also affect the small joints of the hand, most commonly the thumb. Gripping, grasping or pinching objects may become painful with this condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disorder that can affect any part of the body, including large or small joints, the heart, circulatory system, the lungs, the muscles used for breathing and even the digestive system.
Oftentimes joint replacement surgery is recommended if the condition becomes too painful, and interferes with the activities of daily living or the patient’s occupation. But prior to that, there are steps you can take to make your daily life more comfortable if you have arthritis.
To reduce pressure in your hands when holding or gripping objects:
Wrap foam, cloth or tape around the handles of everyday objects like knives, pots and pans, to cushion the grip. Look for household or gardening tools with larger, ergonomically-designed handles. These are available in many retail stores. Keep a pair of gardening gloves with rubberized palms in the kitchen, to help grip and hold, and use common tools like jar openers to help with household tasks.
To reduce pain or pressure before or after activities, and while sleeping:
Apply either heat or cold to the affected joints before and after activities, and before bed. Elevate and support your arms and legs on pillows when sleeping.
Reduce pain and stress on your joints:
Use carts or carriers with wheels to move heavy items like garbage bags, laundry, or grocery bags, so you don’t need to lift them. Replace round doorknobs with lever-style handles.
An entire profession, known as Occupational Therapy, is devoted to helping people with disability issues perform their jobs and household tasks more easily. They can recommend personalized adaptive equipment that will put less weight on the joints. They can also instruct patients on how to use compression garments and thermal agents (heat and cold), and can make custom splints to support or properly position your joints during activities or while sleeping. These professionals can evaluate your home environment and suggest changes or modifications that will make it easier for you to perform your activities. They can also address both the physical and emotional effects of arthritis. They can recommend therapeutic exercises and activities designed to decrease stiffness and improve endurance and strength. And they can address the emotional stress that results from lack of sleep or being in constant chronic pain.
If someone you know is struggling with arthritis, or numbness, tingling or pain in the hands, wrists, elbows or shoulders, contact Dr. Rehman and her team of Occupational Therapists today for help! Dr. Rehman is a specially-trained orthopedic doctor who specializes in conditions and injuries affecting the upper body. She will conduct a thorough evaluation and design a comprehensive, individualized treatment program to correct the problem and return the affected area to health, strength and full range of mobility.