Ordinary household activities can become areas of challenge and discomfort for those suffering from arthritis.
You can make your life easier, though, by modifying various day-to-day tasks, says Scott Burg, D.O., of the Cleveland Clinic. Here are recommendations he provided in June to simplify what you do in various rooms of your home.
Pain management in the house
- Jars & cans – It can be difficult to get a jar open when your muscles are under duress. You may find that a rubber grip makes the process simpler. You can also look into openers that are specifically designed for ease-of-use.
- Handle with care – Try cookware that has especially long handles. If you have difficulty with utensils, you can get new ones that have softer, bulkier handles.
- Hygiene up top – Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes are equally effective at plaque removal. However, electric toothbrushes assist those with hand pain by automating a significant amount of the brushing process. You may also want to switch out your razor for an electric one.
- Hygiene down low – Dr. Berg mentions that some patients say arthritis makes it difficult to clean oneself sufficiently after using the toilet. You can purchase rolls of cotton, using segments of it to wipe. Try running it under the faucet beforehand so that it is moist and more absorbent. Note that you cannot flush cotton, though.
- Stronger seating – You may have a chair that you especially enjoy because it’s incredibly soft. However, recliners and couches that are built for comfort are more likely to exacerbate arthritis. It’s also difficult to get out of a cushier chair. You want seating that is easy on you when sitting down and standing up.
- Doorknobs – Hand pain can also be aggravated every time you reach a closed door. Luckily, you don’t have to use standard doorknobs anymore. Adaptive handles can be fastened onto doorknobs, allowing you to use a pushing motion (as opposed to a twisting motion).
- Shoes – Getting your shoes on and off can be a pain management challenge. A typical shoehorn is too small for many of those suffering from arthritis. Try a shoehorn with a longer handle.
- Fasteners – You can buy a dressing device that helps you pull zippers into position and button up shirts.
Comprehensive pain management plan
Hopefully the above adaptive tips will help you combat your pain at home. You may feel that you want a comprehensive approach to improve your health and quality of life. Our team of doctors represents a multidisciplinary medical effort to help you stop suffering.
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