Aching, swelling, burning, stiffness. Those with arthritis know these feelings all too well, ranging from minor discomfort to excruciating pain. And unfortunately, ongoing relief can be difficult to obtain. For the more than 52 million Americans diagnosed with arthritis, it’s important to keep a record of when and where the pain is most severe, what activities are being hindered by the pain, and what has been attempted to alleviate the pain. Sharing these details with the physician is a great place to start to put an effective arthritis pain management plan in place.
Additionally, everyday activities can be modified to enhance comfort for those suffering with the struggles of arthritis. Try these simple tips:
- Switch your grip: Pain in the fingers and hands is often exacerbated when lifting and carrying items with a normal grip (i.e., palm facing down and grasping the object). Instead, use both hands, with palms facing up, to lift the item. This works particularly well with handled items such as bags and purses.
- Lighten the load: Many of us overload the items we carry to reduce trips, such as trying to carry as many grocery bags as possible, overflowing laundry baskets, and stuffing purses with any number of imaginable items. Minimizing the weight of items being carried can help.
- Get innovative: A variety of adaptive devices are available or can be fashioned to assist those with arthritis. For example, simple foam insulation piping can be purchased in varying widths and lengths, and can be used to cover handles on everyday tools such as eating utensils, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, gardening equipment, and more. Dollies and rolling carts work wonders when transporting bulky items, such as taking out the trash. A little creativity can work wonders!
- Redistribute weight: Carrying items closer to the body takes the strain off the smaller joints that often feel the brunt of arthritis pain, such as wrists, hands and fingers.
For more tips on better managing arthritis pain, contact the professional senior care experts at Compassionate Nursing Services. Some of the many ways we can help include:
- Providing transportation and accompaniment to medical appointments
- Picking up prescriptions and running errands
- Preparing meals and assisting with light housework and laundry
- Helping with personal care such as bathing, dressing, and ambulation
- And much more