How can I use more stable joint positions?
Change position from one that puts strain on particular joints to one that spreads your weight evenly over several joints. Try the following tips:
- Sit or stand as close as you can when working at a table or bench – this reduces stretching and bending.
- Keep your weight so it’s supported evenly through both your legs, standing with your hips square and facing forward.
- Use a grip that keeps your wrists straight and your fingers in line with your wrist when carrying things.
- When lifting objects, reduce the strain or pull on your shoulder by keeping your elbow bent and in front of your body. When reaching up, keep your palm facing the ceiling. To lower your arm, bend your elbow, bringing your hand closer to your body.
For more tips, practical advice and information on adaptations you can make to your home and workplace, see Comfort in your home and Work and arthritis.
How can I avoid positions that push my joints towards deformity?
By becoming aware of how you use your hands, you can identify which movements push your joints in the direction of the deformities described earlier. The important things to avoid are:
- lifting heavy objects with your wrists bent downwards
- pushing your fingers over towards your little finger and putting pressure on your thumb
- twisting or over-straightening your fingers.
If your arthritis affects your hands, avoid pushing down on your knuckles, for example when you’re getting up from a chair.