How can I avoid gripping things tightly?
You tend to use a tight grip when you do things like writing, knitting or using a screwdriver, but this puts a lot of strain on your knuckles and thumb joints. To reduce the strain:
- take frequent breaks to rest your hands briefly
- reduce the length of time you spend doing these activities and try to relax your grip
- use padding to make the grip on things such as your pen, knife, toothbrush or spanner larger.
What can I do to improve my grip?
Many people with hand arthritis find their grip weakens and their hands become stiffer, which can be very frustrating. Regular hand exercises will improve your grip. Do them most days for short periods a couple of times a day. Start slowly and build up the amount of exercise you do over several weeks. Ask to be referred to a rheumatology occupational therapist, physiotherapist or hand therapist for extra exercises to suit your particular needs.