Living with arthritis can be upsetting and unnerving. Even things like putting on your socks or making dinner can be exhausting.
If you have arthritis, it is important to take especially good care of yourself: relieve pain, improve function, and cope with difficult emotions. These methods include weight loss, physical therapy, and complementary therapies, such as acupuncture and massage.
It makes sense that the healthy food consumption, losing pounds if you are overweight, strengthening your muscles and learning to move your joints safely, is useful regardless of the form of arthritis you have and which joints are affected. Also, paying attention to diet, weight and exercise is important for the prevention of heart disease, related to rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Here are some “do-it-yourself” strategies and therapies that can help you save energy, protect your joints, perform daily tasks more easily, and adjust to lifestyle changes.
1. Keep moving.
Avoid holding a position for a long time. When working at a desk, for example, get up and stretch every 15 minutes. Do the same while sitting at home reading or watching television.
2. Avoid stress.
Avoid positions or movements that put additional stress on the joints. For example, opening a lid can be difficult if you have arthritis in your hand. One solution is to put the jar on a cloth, rest the palm of your hand on the jar, and twist the lid with a shoulder motion. Better yet, buy a wall-mounted jar opener that holds the lid, leaving both hands free to turn the jar.
3. Discover our strength.
Use our strongest joints and muscles. To protect the finger and wrist joints, push the heavy doors with the side of the arm or shoulder. To reduce stress on your hips or knees on stairs, move your strongest leg forward to go up and your weaker leg to go down.
4. Plan ahead.
Simplify life as much as possible. Eliminate unnecessary activities (for example, buying clothes that do not need ironing). Organize work and storage areas; Store frequently used items within easy reach. Have duplicate items in various places in the home; for example, stocking the kitchen and all bathrooms with cleaning products.
5. Use articles that save labor and adapted aids.
In the kitchen, use electric can openers and mixers. In the bathroom, reduce scrubbing by using automatic toilet cleaners and, in showers or bathtubs, a mold remover spray. Other devices on the market can help avoid unnecessary movements to bend, bend or reach for something.
6. Make home modifications.
Using wheels on furniture can make home cleaning easier. A grab bar over the tub is a must for many people, as is a rug to prevent falls. Putting a bath stool in the tub or shower is a good idea for people who have arthritis in the legs.
7. Ask for help when you need it.
Maintaining independence is essential for self-esteem, but independence at all costs is a recipe for disaster. Striking a balance between educating family and friends about the disease and the limitations it imposes and enlisting their support. Ask for help with specific tasks.
Source: Harvard University