Living With Arthritis
1 AnswerKeep a flashlight by the entrance to your bedroom. Use it at night when you have turned off the light and need to illuminate the path to your bed. Then keep the flashlight on your nightstand so it will be handy if you need to get out of bed in the middle of the night.
The most important thing to know about caring for someone with arthritis is to be sensitive to the patient's pain and frustration. It can be frustrating for a patient, especially if they were a very active individual before the onset of arthritis, to have movement restricted and to be unable to enjoy activities they once loved. Take it one day at a time, encourage the patient, and let them know you are there to help them with both physical and emotional needs. Help them lead a healthy lifestyle by encouraging a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and whatever solutions help them manage their individual symptoms.
2 AnswersNational Academy of Sports Medicine answered
A floor bridge, plank, single-leg balance, ball squat, and small box step-up are all great for you. These exercises help to strengthen your core (abdominals and low back muscles) and/or gluteals (butt muscles). These exercises are low impact, and low-impact exercises are typically safer for your joints. In addition to these exercises, try to stay relatively active (such as going for short walks) and avoid extended periods of inactivity (sitting). Staying active helps your joints stay strong and pliable. Too much sitting can stiffen your joints and increase arthritis pain.
1 AnswerBe honest with yourself and others. People are able to accept you and what you can offer if you are open and honest with them. Explain why you may not be able to coach your son’s soccer team this year, then offer to do a job that requires less active participation. Remember, you are not alone; many people have limited their commitments for a variety of reasons.
1 AnswerHere are some ways to keep the fun of board games in your life even if you have arthritis.
- Adapt game board pieces for easier handling. If you have trouble handling game pieces, try substituting larger items like Lego blocks, empty plastic pill bottles, chess pieces or little plastic finger puppets. To adapt cardboard game pieces that are too thin and unstable to pick up or set down easily, glue an extra piece of cardboard on the bottom to make the base slightly larger.
- Place game boards on a lazy Susan. If you have arthritis, a revolving game board may make it easier to join in the fun. Purchase a lazy Susan turntable from a kitchen department or cabinet shop and place the game board on top; the board can easily be turned to meet each player’s reach. If the game board is still too far for a comfortable reach, place an easy-to-grasp-and slide placemat, cookie sheet or cutting board under the turntable and slide it closer when it’s time to make your move.
1 AnswerHere are some tips to make railings and stairs easier to manage if you have arthritis.
- Lead with your strong leg going up stairs, and with your weak leg going down. Remember, “Good leg to heaven, bad leg to hell.”
- Signal others with flashing lights. Save steps and attract the attention of someone who is in the basement by turning the light switch at the top of the stairs on and off a few times. The flashing lights will get the person’s attention even if she has noisy equipment running or the volume on the TV cranked up.
- Install hand railings on both sides of a stairway, so that you have support going up and down stairs. Basement stairs will be safer if you add abrasive rubber treads to each step. For added safety, paint the edge of the steps with luminous paint to make them more visible; alternate colors to avoid the chance of missing a step. To improve the lighting in the stairwell, use at least a 100-watt bulb.
1 AnswerDr. Mehmet Oz, MD , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
1 AnswerUse power strips if electrical wall outlets are difficult to reach or use. Multiple-outlet power strips are inexpensive enough to use in every room of the house. Plug into any household outlet and place the strips where they are more convenient to reach and use. Most come with an on/off switch so you can turn everything plugged into the strip (TV, lamp, VCR, etc.) on or off with one switch. The strips are available at most discount and hardware stores.
1 AnswerDr. Leopold D. Galland, MD , Internal Medicine, answeredIf you have arthritis, don't worry about carrots. All the publicity given to the Glycemic Index of foods (the tendency for a food to raise blood sugar) has given carrots a bad rep. The carotenoids in carrots, anti-oxidants that create the orange color, and the fiber, make carrots an anti-inflammatory food. Carrots are more nutritious cooked than raw.
1 AnswerWhether you’ve had arthritis for years or you’ve just been diagnosed, here are ideas for being proactive about conserving energy.
- Sit down while you work. If you have pain in your legs, knees or feet, take the strain of gravity off by sitting down to work. Even tall counters, such as those in the kitchen and work room, can be made easier to work at using tall stools -- some even come with rollers to make getting around easier.
- Combine errands as much as possible. If you are making the effort to get dressed and get in the car, don’t just go out for one thing -- conserve gas and energy by making a list and running all your errands at one time. Be efficient -- list your errands in the order you wish to run them, making a circle from home to the farthest point and home again or, if you might run out of time or energy, prioritize by importance and do the most important things first.
- Spread out high-energy tasks. Instead of trying to do the laundry, get groceries and clean the house all in one day, spread these activities out throughout the week. Give yourself time to rest, perhaps even a rest day, in between high-intensity activities.