Dont let Arthritis slow you down

May 08, 2020

Written by: Dr. Atul Wankhede

Doing things fast does not necessarily mean efficiency, but to slow down due to Arthritis definitely means the ability to do a certain activity is questioned. Once agile and fit, an individual starts to realise how joint incompetence affects day to day activities. Besides coming to terms with it, here I suggest some points to maintain adequacy of joints.

  • Keep moving - Avoid holding one position for long time, like while travelling, desk jobs etc. While working take frequent stretch breaks every 30-45 minutes.
  • Discover your strength - Put the strongest joints and muscles to work. For eg - Push heavy doors with the side of the arm or shoulder. It will protect finger and wrist joints. While climbing up let the strong leg lead you and while going down let the weaker leg lead you. It will reduce hip or knee stress. Although it'll wear your other leg, but that will balance the wear and tear in both legs.
  • Plan ahead - Simplify and organise your routines so you minimise movements that are difficult or painful. For eg- Keep items you need for cooking, cleaning, or hobbies near where they are needed. Have multiple sets of cleaning supplies, one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom etc.
  • Make use of labor-saving devices and adaptive aids. For eg- Long-handled grippers, can be used to grasp and retrieve out-of-reach objects. Rubber grips can help one get a better handle on faucets, pens, toothbrushes and silverware.
  • Ask for help. Don't hesitate. Only a very small percentage of people with arthritis become severely disabled and get dependent on others. If you do be honest about it and educate family members and friends about how arthritis affects you, and how they can help. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
  • Lastly, strengthen the muscles as tolerable. They are your long term insurance against any undue intervention.

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