If you have psoriatic arthritis (PsA), you know that managing the pain is an ongoing endeavor. While there’s no cure for the disease, there are proven ways to reduce or lessen your pain.
Learning how to position your body and using adaptive devices can help you live confidently with PsA and avoid additional joint damage.
Proper body positioning can make you more comfortable during a PsA flare-up, as well as preventing undue strain on your joints at all times. Because your joints are already compromised, they can undergo further damage easily. You’ll need to do what you can to protect them.
Here are three helpful tips:
- Be mindful of how you sit and stand. For example, when doing an activity that involves working close to the floor, sit down instead of crouching or kneeling. Crouching or kneeling can add additional stress to your knees and ankles. These positions may even cause more intense pain.
- Think about how you hold onto things. Grasp items firmly, but loosely. When grasping items make sure that your knuckles are in alignment. Also, when reading, lay a book or magazine on your open hands or lap while you read rather than tightly gripping the front and back covers. A very tight grip might cause irregular positioning of your knuckles, which leads to more wear and tear.
- Keep sore joints in alignment. Situating your joints with the rest of your body is a good way to protect them and address pain. For example, tuck a pillow under your hip or between your knees to achieve more restful and pain-free sleep.
People with PsA can encounter difficulties in all aspects of life, whether at home, at work, or outside. Although your range of motion may be limited, taking advantage of modern technology can increase your productivity and protect your joints at the same time.
Here are some ideas to make your everyday life simpler:
- Pencil grips can be added to toothbrushes and eating utensils to make them easier to grasp.
- Buttoners and long-stemmed shoehorns might make getting dressed less frustrating.
- Easy-to-grip kitchen tools, such as jar and can openers, can make cooking easier on your joints.
- Reacher poles, grabbers, or any device with a claw-like fixture on the end, can help you access the high cupboards without straining your neck or standing on a chair.
- Phones and keyboards with large keys can help you get in a full day’s work with ease.
- Bathtub safety bars can help prevent falls.
- Lightweight garden hoses, playing card holders, and hands-free needlework frames can allow you to enjoy your favorite hobbies without pain.
Joint protection is important for everyone, but especially those with PsA. Consult your doctor or physical therapist to learn about proper postures for your needs as well as other devices that might be available for your home or office.