Strategies for Comfort

Work demands can make arthritis pain acute. It is important to minimize this by staying aware of your body and what it needs.

Stretching
Get up, move around and stretch every 20 to 30 minutes to keep stiffness at bay. Change positions often. Sitting in the same position for long periods causes muscles to tighten and shorten. This can increase stress on joints, making them stiff and painful. Once stiff, joints have a limited range of motion, which limits your ability to perform even simple tasks.

If you perform assembly work, stretch your hand flat for about a minute several times during the task. If you write frequently, stop and stretch your fingers.

Regular stretching throughout the day

Keeps joints well lubricated.
Prevents shortening of muscle fibers.
Reduces pain.
Eases tension and stress.
Energizes.
Make Your Computer Friendly
They make our lives easier, but computers can be a literal pain for users with arthritis.

For minimal stress on your neck, shoulders and hands, sit as upright as possible while only slightly bending your neck.
Make sure your lower back is against your chair’s backrest or use a lumbar support or seat wedge.

Move closer to the keyboard (3-6 inches from your lap). Position it and the monitor straight in front of you.

Your wrists should be straight, yet loose, when your fingers are on the keyboard. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor. If not, use a padded wrist-rest and adjust your chair height.

Devices that make the keyboard smaller or change its layout help people with limited range of motion.
Switch to a mouse or joystick to enter commands.
For vision problems, use devices that make the screen easier to read.

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