How Occupational Therapy Can Help Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis.

There are many people who struggle with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Here is an excerpt from the article, “10 Simple Adjustments to Relieve RA Hand Pain”, that could help you resume your daily activities that RA was keeping you from.

How an Occupational Therapist Can Help –

“According to an analysis of numerous research studies published by the Cochrane Collaboration, there’s a lot of evidence that working with an occupational therapist when you have RA can help you use your hands for everyday tasks more efficiently and with less pain. The occupational therapist’s goal is to ensure that you can participate in any activity you want while still protecting your joints and getting hand pain relief.

For starters, an occupational therapist teaches people with RA about disease self-management, Dodge says – offering instruction on joint protection techniques, how to use assistive devices, how to conserve your energy, and exercises that will help you do activities with less pain.  [They] may also explain how to use heat and cold as part of your pain management strategy.

The occupational therapist can also show you how to modify specific activities so you can still do them. For example, if you’re a woman who enjoys knitting, an occupational therapist can provide suggestions for adaptive equipment and offer techniques that allow you to enjoy your hobby more safely.”

10 Tips to Try Now

If you need hand pain relief from RA, use these suggestions from Dodge and Amini to modify activities to make them less painful:

  1. Build up handles on utensils and tools so that less force is needed to hold them while performing tasks. Pipe insulation is handy for enlarging handles.
  2. If you’re unable to lift a gallon of milk with one or both hands, buy half gallons or have someone pour half into a small pitcher.
  3. Rather than carrying bags in your hand, place straps over your forearm or shoulder. Rolling bags alleviate the need to lift and carry them.
  4. Use both hands when lifting objects, and keep your forearms close to your body.
  5. When possible, use your palms to grasp objects rather than your fingertips. Replace standard door knobs with door levers.
  6. Wear rubber gloves to enhance your grip when opening jars.
  7. Use electric appliances when possible.
  8. Use your entire body to move heavy objects rather than pushing with your hand, such as when opening a door.
  9. Use a rolling cart to move items around the house.
  10. Purchase pots and pans with two handles and slide them over surfaces instead of lifting them. Silicone sheets can be placed on delicate counter surfaces to protect them from hot pots.

**To read the entire article from Everyday Health, click here!

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