Have your hands full with arthritis pain? Here are five ways to help alleviate your symptoms today.

Getting dressed, driving, writing, typing – you name it, we need our hands for it! Whether you’ve had a hand injury, or just some wear and tear after years of use, pain in your fingers and wrists can really put a damper on your life. 

ATI Physical Therapy’s hand therapists understand the importance of having maximum use of your hand and suggest making some simple changes to your daily routines to help alleviate symptoms:

Give your hands a break before they hurt! If you know you are going to do a task that is hard on your hands, perform stretching exercises thirty minutes BEFORE.  If you have pain during activity, stop the activity.

Use both hands. When lifting or carrying objects, distribute the items.  Take several small trips to decrease the stress on your joints.

Take a look at the items you use every day.  Opt for a wide-barreled pen when writing, pumps for shampoos and soap, large cushioned handles on hair brushes, toothbrushes and scissors, grips for opening jars, and use electric can openers and knives when possible.

Use your bigger joints for the job.  When you open a door, don’t push it open with just your hand. Lean into the door to use your shoulder/body to do the work.

Avoid a tight, prolonged pinch/grip.  When possible keep your hand flat.  For example, keep your hand flat on a sponge when cleaning the counter or dusting instead of grasping it.