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Arthritis and Joing Pain

Performing normal daily activities leads to stress on joints. Arthritic joints are more vulnerable to stress and may become damaged. This damage may eventually result in deformity, which can cause loss of function. For these reasons, it is important to break old habits and learn new ways of performing activities, ways that will prevent unnecessary stress to joints.

1) Avoid Deforming Positions
2) Respect Pain
3) Maintain Good Biomechanical Alignment

A. Maintain proper posture.
B. Avoid prolonged periods in the same position, e.g. long distance driving requires frequent rest stops.
C. Use assistive equipment if necessary, e.g. splints, self-help devices.

4) Avoid Deforming Forces

A. Maintain proper body weight.
B. Use largest, strongest joint possible, e.g. carry purse with elbow or shoulder rather than hand; substitute envelope-style briefcase for one with handle and tuck it between arm and body with one end supported by forearm.
C. Use whole body to move heavy objects, e.g. shut heavy door with body rather than arm alone).
D. Use long, sweeping movements, e.g. paint with smooth movements rather than short, choppy strokes.
E. Turn hand toward thumb side, not toward little finger, e.g. to open jars, place palm on lid, press down, and turn toward thumb.
F. Work with fingers extended (straight), e.g. use hand flat on sponge rather than dishrag to wash dishes; use bath mitt rather than washrag for bathing.
G. Use both hands to slide/lift objects, e.g. place hand on side of can and slide it off shelf onto palm of other hand; carry with hands in this position or with both palms on sides of can.
H. Avoid tight grasp (power grasp), e.g. build up handles; use shoulder rest to hold phone receiver).
I. Avoid pressure on back of hands, e.g. place palms on chair seat and push to arise from chair rather than pushing against back of hand.
J. Avoid strong pressure against pad of thumb, e.g. use electric rather than manual can opener.
K. Use assistive equipment if necessary.
L. Use automatic transmission vehicle to reduce repetitive clutch action to left hip.

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Maple Valley WA, 98038