Ways to Make Life Easier with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Ways to Make Life Easier with Rheumatoid Arthritis

One of the most painful inflammatory disorders of the joints that a man can ever experience is rheumatoid arthritis. Though the causes behind such a disease are unknown, such a problem can be devastating to the sufferer. In adults above 40years of age, when the capsule around the joints is affected by inflammation or fibrosis, it results in deformation and pain. Temporarily, medication can relieve pain but living with rheumatoid arthritis is quite challenging. Physical therapy braces and dietary changes too can be of great help. But orthopedic surgeons advise that dealing with such a disorder daily can be difficult but simple tricks can go a long way in making the condition better.

Tweaking Everyday Tasks

Getting dressed, buttoning shirts and blouses, trying shoelaces and pulling up zips are beyond horrible for a person with rheumatoid arthritis. In such cases, using a Velcro for all the above things can help. Similarly, the work place too holds many challenges for such people. Sitting close to the desk and working on computers is painful. Adjustable chairs and tables and hands-free headsets for the phones will make working easier and reduce pain in the joints. Though gardening, mopping, washing utensils and other chores are not recommended for a person with rheumatoid arthritis, it is advisable that you stand or sit properly on short chairs to carry on with the work.

Taking Care of Your Body

Easy tasks such as reaching out to something, bending to pick up a book and stretching over the window are next to impossible for people with rheumatoid arthritis. But simple tweaks in such activities can help a person to finish tasks easily. When you have to stretch for something, try using a pole or a long-necked holder. Instead of putting pressure on your shoulders, just use your hands to get the task done. The same applies to bending and kneeling too. Instead of just bending directly from the waist, bend very little only from the knees and get up immediately without staying in the same position for longer duration. If you are standing, don’t pressurise both the legs. Stand on one leg and kickback the other. Continue this as long as you are standing.

Help in the Washroom

Rheumatoid arthritis affects the muscular system so badly that taking a bath without somebody’s help can be extremely painful. An arm rest near the toilet, handy soap bar stands near the tub or the water outlet, easy to open and close toiletries, a bath stool near the mirror and electric toothbrushes make life easy in the bathroom. Sitting down for shaving, washing the face and brushing the teeth is a better idea than standing.

Making the Kitchen Handy

Women who have no domestic help need to cook and clean all by themselves. Since cooking involves a lot of chopping and other preparation activities, electronic appliances and ergonomic cutlery can make the task easier. Choose jars and bottles that are easy to open and close without having to tightly lock them. Buy food processors that do the chopping, grating and assembling activities for you. They are definitely worth the money. Using a small stool to reach the higher cupboards is better than stretching and bending.

Apart from such assistance everywhere, physical therapy was found to have more impact on rheumatoid arthritis. Regular exercise under the guidance of a physiotherapist can relieve pain and make life easy to live.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad