Even everyday activities can stress and strain weakened joints and expose them to injury. The best way to deal with this problem is to think about how you can organize your activities so they have the least chance of hurting or injuring your joint. Here are some tips:

  • Alternate lighter and heavier tasks, and be sure to build rest into your daily routine.
  • Try to use joints that are not affected by OA. When there is a choice, use large joints such as hips and shoulders instead of the more fragile joints of the fingers and wrists.
  • Use orthotics such as splints, insoles, and finger ring splints to help stabilize, protect, and properly align fragile joints. Your occupational therapist can recommend and fit orthotics that suit your needs.
  • Push and slide objects along surfaces such as countertops rather than lifting them. Use aids such as wheelbarrows in the garden or tea trolleys in the kitchen.
  • Think about ways to break heavier tasks down into smaller ones. If doing something hurts, try to find another way or ask someone to help.
  • There are many aids available to make everyday tasks easier. These include large-handled utensils, mobility aids (e.g., grab bars, canes, walkers), and raised toilet seats. Ask your occupational therapist or home health supplier about products that might help you protect your joints and make day-to-day activities easier and safer.

Speak to your doctor to learn more about what you can do to make everyday activities easier and protect your joints from injury.