If you have psoriatic arthritis (PsA), you already know that managing the pain is an ongoing endeavor.
PsA is a type of arthritis that develops in some people with psoriasis. PsA causes inflammation and stiffness in the joints. While there’s no known cure for the disease, there are proven ways to reduce your pain.
People with PsA can encounter difficulties in all aspects of life, whether at home, at work, or outside. While your range of motion may be limited, taking advantage of modern technology can increase your productivity and protect your joints.
Proper body positioning can also prevent undue strain on your joints and make you more comfortable during a PsA flare-up. Because your joints may already be compromised, they could undergo further damage. You’ll need to do what you can to protect them.
Here are some tips for protecting your joints so you can live confidently with PsA.
Focus on your body position to preserve joint functioning. When doing an activity that involves working close to the floor, consider sitting down instead of crouching or kneeling to remove stress.
Try to use your strongest and largest joints. For example, instead of using your spine to lift something, bend your hips and knees.
Avoid spending too much time in one position to preserve energy in your muscles. If your muscles are fatigued, they can’t support the joints as effectively.
Reacher poles, grabbers, or any device with a claw-like fixture on the end can help you access high cupboards without straining your neck or standing on a chair. These devices can also help reduce your risk of falling.
Grasp items firmly but loosely. When grasping items, make sure your knuckles are in alignment.
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 may cause irregular positioning of your knuckles, which leads to more wear and tear.
Pencil grips can be added to toothbrushes and eating utensils to make them easier to grasp. Easy-to-grip kitchen tools, such as jar and can openers, can make cooking easier on your joints.
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.
There are many adaptive devices you can keep at home to help manage PsA. Strategically placing these devices around your home can make daily tasks easier.
Here are some examples of adaptive devices and how they can assist you:
- Buttoners and long-stemmed shoehorns might make getting dressed easier.
- Phones and keyboards with large keys can help you work with ease.
- Bathtub safety bars can help prevent falls.
- Lightweight garden hoses, playing card holders, and hands-free needlework frames can help you enjoy your favorite hobbies without pain.
Joint protection is important for everyone, but especially for people with PsA.
Consult your doctor, physical therapist, or occupational therapist to learn about proper postures for your needs as well as other devices that might be available for your home or office.