Modifying Activities for Osteoarthritis
If your joints hurt when you do an activity, you can do a number of things to help yourself.
- Use the largest joints or strongest muscles to do things.
- When you lift a heavy object off the floor, use your hip and knee muscles, not your back.
- When you carry a bag of groceries, use the palm of your hand or your forearm instead of grasping it with your fingers.
- Push doors open with your hip or shoulder instead of your hand or arm.
- Break bigger tasks into several smaller tasks.
Rest between tasks.
- Use electric tools.
Electric tools such as can openers, blenders, power tools, and sewing machines can make it easier to open cans, mix things, do home repairs, or sew.
- Try not to stand for a long period of time.
And try not to kneel or squat.
Sit or take regular breaks when doing tasks that take a long time.
- Use higher chairs or seat cushions.
Avoid sitting in chairs that are very low.
- Go a shorter distance when you walk, jog, swim, or do another activity.
- Break up an exercise or activity.
For example, you might take two or three short walks in a day rather than one long walk. Or do a shorter workout, then rest and do a little more later.
- Make an activity less intense.
Decrease your speed when you jog, walk, run, or swim. If you lift weights, don't lift as much weight.
Current as of:
November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Joan Rigg PT, OCS - Physical Therapy
Current as of: November 9, 2022
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Joan Rigg PT, OCS - Physical Therapy