Ease Joint Pain With These Simple Tips

By Daily Graphic
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Exercising the knee joint to ease pain.

We can't get away with not doing everyday activities and chores at work and at home that may stress our shoulder, wrist, knee and finger joints.

Knowing the avoidable pain of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis could be reason enough to take the following precautions:

At work

Carrying your Laptop (and everything else you tote):

Instead of taxing weak finger joints by using the handle of your computer bag, wear the shoulder strap diagonally across your body.

When shopping for a purse, choose one that's lightweight and small, so you'll be forced to pack the minimum.

Talking on the phone
Cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder puts tremendous strain on neck and shoulder joints. Instead, try a speakerphone or headset.

Working at your desk
Choose a chair with good support for the small of your back, or add a cushion. To put the least possible stress on hip and knee joints, set up your desk and chair so that your hips and knees are at 90-degree angles while you're sitting.

To protect the joints in your neck, elbows, and wrists, position the computer screen so that you look straight at the monitor, and adjust the keyboard so that your arms are bent at right angles and your wrists are straight when typing.

At home
Opening cans and jars: A can opener with a large, soft, nonslip handle takes the stress off hand joints.

Handling Heavy Loads: Give finger joints a rest by using your palms or your arms instead of your hands. To transport a large package, wrap your arms around it and hug it close to your body. This will distribute the weight, minimising the strain on any one joint. Whenever possible, slide objects rather than lifting them.

At the supermarkets, use paper bags, which most of us naturally carry in our arms because they are delicate. (Our tendency to hook two or three plastic bags over a few fingers puts tremendous tension on those small joints.)

Cutting vegetables
When you do chop, use a large, sharp knife and stand close enough to the counter so that your upper arm is at your side and your elbow is bent comfortably.

Washing Dishes: When washing dishes by hand, keep your back straight and bring each dish toward you. (Leaning over the sink stresses the spine.)

The longer the handles on your cleaning tools, the less you'll need to bend while cleaning. Proper technique is also key: Instead of pushing mops with your hands and wrists, employ the full weight of your body by walking just behind this tool, with your arms at your sides and your elbows bent at 90-degree angles.