12 Life Hacks for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are different kinds of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis or RA can be defined as an autoimmune disease that affects and causes joint pain and damage throughout the body. One of the ways you can distinguish between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis (OA) is that when you have rheumatoid arthritis and you experience joint pain and damage on one side of your body, it’s quite likely that the other side of your body will be affected too. For instance, if the joint on the right side of your arm or leg is affected, your left arm or leg will be affected too.

For the treatment to work best, it’s essential that you get treated as early as possible. That’s why it’s important that you know the signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of rheumatoid arthritis, its signs, and symptoms, home remedies you can use, dietary changes you should make etc.

You shouldn’t let pain control your life.Here’s what you should do:

  • Open jars using your upper arm. When opening jars don’t use your hands and fingers to open, rather, rely on strength from the upper part of your body. Do this by placing the jar on a piece of cloth and then open the jar with your hand while leaning on that arm with all of your body weight. This ensures that you open the jar with weight from your shoulders rather than from your wrists and fingers.
  • Use rubber bands. Make use of rubber bands or dry and damp sheets to give you a better grip of any jars or bottles that you want to open. Use a thick rubber band for big jars and thinner bands for smaller jars.
  • Use electrical gadgets. Instead of doing things manually, use electrical appliances. For instance, use blenders and food processors instead of whisking, chopping and mincing things manually. Doing tasks manually and repeatedly can cause your joints to ache. You can even use an electric jar opener.
  • Use efficient tools. To make your tasks easier, use tools such as automated toilet bowl cleaners and spray on mildew remover. Also, consider using knives which have bigger handles when you are cooking so you can make tasks in the kitchen easier.
  • Avoid carrying heavy things. Instead of carrying a large pot of water, consider carrying the water in small cups. Put the pot on the stove while it’s still empty and then fill it up the cup by cup. Alternatively, you can put the pot of water on a cart that can be rolled.
  • Keep things within reach. Avoid bending and stretching all the time by putting stuff that you need in easy-to-reach places. In addition to this, spreading out the things you use regularly in different places in the house might make your work easier. For instance, put cleaning supplies both in the bathroom and in the kitchen.
  • Keep up with dental hygiene. It can be quite painful for you to brush your teeth daily due to the small size of the handle. Create a bigger extension by cutting open a small part of a tennis ball and then insert your toothbrush handle in this opening. This will give you a better grip on your toothbrush when you’re brushing your teeth.
  • Be a savvy shopper. When you go shopping, choose paper packing bags instead of plastic. This is because you can grip paper shopping bags with your arms instead of your fingers. If you happen to use plastic bags, then loop the plastic over your forearm instead of gripping it with your fingers. Just make sure not to let it slide up to your elbows since they don’t provide the required support.
  • Make stairs less painful. When climbing up the steps, always start with your stronger leg. Then when going down the stairs start with the weaker leg and then follow with the stronger one. This will make your knees and hips strain less.
  • Use scissors to open packages. Instead of tearing open condiment packages with your bare hands, always carry around a pair of scissors that you can use even when you are on the go. Use the scissors to cut open the packages. If possible, use a pair of scissors with long handles that have been specifically made for people who have arthritis.
  • Do less cooking. Cook, less so you can apply less pressure on your joints. You can do this by cooking excess amounts of food so that you can freeze to use on other days. This will reduce the total amount of cooking you have to do. You can also opt to use a slow cooker so that you can just put the ingredients you need in the cooker and turn it on and leave the food to cook on its own. You can even use a microwave.
  • Zip up with a key ring. It can be quite challenging to grip a small zipper. To make things easier, slip a key ring or piece of ribbon into the zipper so that you can use it to pull the zipper up or down.
  • Minimize how much you use your hands. For instance, when you’re opening a door that’s heavy, instead of using your fingers or arms to push it open, push the door open with your shoulders instead.
  • Don’t overwork or over exercise. While it’s good for you to get regular exercise, don’t get carried away and overwork yourself. For instance, instead of doing a 30-minute exercise at a go, consider breaking it up into three 10-minute sessions throughout the day.
  • Move around. Don’t stay seated or standing in one place for long periods of time, as this can cause your joints to become more rigid. Get up every 15 minutes to stretch when you’re sitting on a chair, like when you’re watching TV. You can also keep shifting from one position to another one.