For Arthritis Sufferers…“69 Magic Tips to Make Your Day Go Easier!”

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Arthritis Got You Down?

Well…you’re going to read about 69 magic ways you can beat arthritis on a daily basis.

These are time tested proven methods for dealing with the nagging aches, pains, and restrictions that arthritis can bring.

Let’s get started...

Wear the Right Clothes and Wear Clothes Right!

To make dressing easier, you can remove buttons from shirts, sew the holes closed, and then sew buttons to the closed holes. You can then sew Velcro on the two sides and press to close. For people who don’t like velcro, you can always use hooks and eyes.

When looking for clothes, consider pants that have elastic waists. Also, remember that buttons require the most manual dexterity. Snaps and zippers are easier to use. Velcro strips, though, are the best.

For women: Use front fastening bras. That way you don’t have to experience shoulder and neck pain reaching and twisting to get your bra fastened in the back.

Around the house, you can buy an apron that has large pockets to carry all your needed items. For instance, you can carry cleaning supplies, craft supplies, tools, or anything else.

Consider elastic shoe laces. Those are the ones that have the funny curly cues at the end. These stay tied and all you have to do to get your shoes on and off are to just stretch open your shoes. Another option is to use shoes that fasten with velcro.

Keep gadgets like shoehorns and reachers nearby and also keep them in key areas around the house so you don’t have to waste time going back and forth to get them.

In the Bedroom…

Consider wearing satin pajamas. They’ll help you slide out of bed easier. Satin sheets also are practical for people with arthritis. And they might get your spouse into the mood more often...

If you have a lot of stiffness in the morning you might want to consider using an electric blanket. Flannel pj’s and flannel sheets can also make you warmer. Unfortunately, flannel makes it more difficult for you to slide out of bed in the morning too.

For your lamps in the bedroom, use a large triangular shaped adapter for the knob on the bedroom lamps.

Conquer Your Kitchen

Let your dishes soak overnight. When you run warm water to finish your dishes in the morning, the warmth will also help any stiffness in your hands.

Get rid of those two handled faucets and use a single lever faucet particularly for the kitchen sink. Around the kitchen and around the house in fact, add lever adapters instead of round doorknobs.

Use plastic dishes instead of stoneware; stoneware is much heavier.

Bottles and jars can be a pain to open. There are a lot of devices on the market both manual and electric that can help you to open these difficult to manipulate containers. Invest in several for your office, bathroom, kitchen, and other areas.

Consider using a wheeled cart to carry around heavy items in the kitchen and even in the rest of your house. Look for a cart that has a basket to keep things from sliding off.

Keep your frequently used items at eye level. Install slide out shelves and turntables to get greater access.

Use a wet washcloth or suction cups to keep mixing bowls from sliding on a countertop.

Use a basket at the top of the steps to the basement and also a basket at the bottom of the stairs to go up to the next floor. This will help reduce the number of trips you make up and down stairs. If you need to take items up steps, consider putting them into a plastic laundry basket. Tie a rope to the handle of the basket and drag the basket up the steps.

For many kitchen utensils as well as utensils throughout the house, add bulk to the handles for a better grip. Thick handled varieties are available in stores. You can also buy foam rubber tubing and slide the handles or pens into them.

Use a lightweight electric broom instead of a full sized vacuum cleaner.

Also, there are many pre-packaged foods, which don’t require preparing your vegetables. Try to get away from having to slice, peel, and chop whenever you can. Use handy “gizmos” and gadgets when possible to make your work easier.

I Hate Doing Laundry…

Use a mesh laundry bag for socks, laundry bag, washcloths, and other small items that are difficult to get out of the bottom of the washing machine.

Use clips to keep socks together to minimize the amount of work needed to try to find “pairs”.

Doing the laundry is a tedious task. Make it easier by getting a laundry basket with built up handles and a curved side that will allow you to carry the basket against your hip.

Bathroom Time

Get an elevated toilet seat. These seats can make it a lot easier to get on and off the commode.

Consider using an electric toothbrush and a pump dispenser for your toothpaste. Both of these make it a lot easier to maintain proper dental hygiene.

Always keep your prescription medications up-to-date before they run out.

Consider showering only. Tub baths can place unnecessary strain on the back. If you must take a bath, make sure you have a seat in the bathtub along with grab bars.

Use flip top bottles of shampoo and conditioners.

Here’s How to Have a Great Garden...

Consider planting in pots instead of a garden plot. Use lightweight containers and place them on top of an empty inverted pot, bench, railing tops, deck tables.

If you have to kneel down, make sure you use kneepads for extra cushioning.

To reduce the amount of bending, use long handled tools such as rakes and hoes.

To reduce the grip torsion, add foam rubber to the handles.

Try planting low maintenance flowers and plants. Perennials avoid the need for planting new flowers every year. You might consider using varieties that don’t require excessive maintenance such as deadheading (removing dead blooms by using scissors or pinching off).

Fill your beds and borders with potting soil or any other kind of loose soil. Good soil reduces the need for weeding and makes it easier to weed and to get vegetables from the ground.

Consider using an elevated flowerbed or garden. This will allow you to garden without producing excessive strain on your back.

Use a large apron with many pockets to help hold your gardening tools.

If you have to do any lifting in the garden or for any place else for that matter, make sure you bend your knees when lifting. Keep the object close to your body and use your hands and arms to lift. If possible, get someone else to do your lifting for you.

Work out a deal with neighbors or friends. If they’ll help you in the garden or help you mow the lawn, or shovel sidewalks, or do other maintenance work requiring muscle, offer to cook them a meal, baby-sit, etc.

When You Go Shopping…

Consider going to businesses that have drive-through windows. You can do a lot of things without ever leaving your car such as making withdrawals and depositing checks at a bank, picking up medications at a pharmacy drive-up window, or picking up and dropping off your dry cleaning. Take advantage of as many delivery services as you can. The Internet is also a powerful tool. Learn how to go on the Internet to help with your shopping needs. Catalog shopping is also an idea to consider.

Whenever possible, use paper bags. Plastic bags tend to put a lot of stress on your hands and wrists. Paper bags can be held close to your body.

If you have to wrap gifts, many department stores will provide gift bags. They may also wrap your gifts for you. Just ask.

If possible, before you go to the shopping mall, plan your agenda, so as to minimize the amount of walking you will need to do. Also, try to shop weekdays to avoid long lines and large crowds.

Carrying a purse on your shoulder instead of your hand will minimize the amount of trauma to your hands and wrists.

For the Hobby Nut…

If you do a lot of reading, use a book holder or prop your book on a small pillow on your lap. This will reduce the amount of stress and strain on your hands.

For people that like to golf, make sure you build up the grip size on your golf clubs. This will reduce the strain on the joints and make the golf club easier to hold.

If you’re a tennis player, ditto.

Always, always, always, always stretch before you play. (Do you think I think stretching is important? Darn right!!!)

For those people who are into arts and crafts, using spring action scissors will help with cutting.

There’s nothing wrong with being a couch potato some of the time. A large button universal remote will be a lot easier to use than the standard TV remote control.

Globe-trotting ideas...

When traveling, consider buying a travel vest. A travel vest has a lot of pockets. The pockets generally fasten with Velcro or zippers. Many useful utensils and items can be kept in the pockets of the travel vest. And they look cool!

For traveling, try to get a bulkhead seat on an airplane. There’s more legroom than in other seats. Also, if you’re relatively fit, get a seat in the emergency aisle. There’s usually more legroom there.

Ask for assistance putting your bags in the overhead bin. This will avoid twisting movements that could hurt your knee or lifting of an object over your head that sometimes causes shoulder strain.

When traveling long distances by car or plane, consider using a lumbar roll. This is a type of cushion that fits in the small of your back and can alleviate a lot of stress and strain on your back.

Also consider using a neck support pillow for long trips in a car or plane.

Exercise like a Champion

Wear good quality comfortable athletic shoes and workout clothes. Make the investment. Don’t be cheap here. This will pay off in the long run.

Warm up before you workout. Make sure you’re not exercising stiff cold joints. Make sure you stretch and do range of motion exercises prior to doing your exercises.

Do your exercises at your best time of day. The early morning may not be the best time for you to exercise since you may be experiencing stiffness. Start slowly... maybe 5 minutes a day if you’re not used to exercising. This will help you avoid hurting yourself.

Make sure if one or more of your joints are hurting, that you avoid using those joints.

Make sure you use proper exercise technique. If you’re unsure, seek professional advice.

Always, always, have a cool down in your exercise regimen at the end of your workout. When you’re done, again perform some gentle stretching and use ice on any sore joints.

Generally, non-impact aerobic exercise is the best kind of exercise for patients who have arthritis. Examples of types of exercise that fall into this category include swimming, exercise cycling, elliptical trainers, Nordic track, and rowing machines (avoid rowing machines if you have low back problems). Again, be very careful about your decision and make sure you at least try it out for a few weeks before making a decision to purchase.

Maintain ideal weight. Put up a picture of a person whose body you’d like to have... then paste a picture of your face over the face of the that person. This will be a motivator!

Other Practical Tips...

A great way of getting cold therapy to different joints is to use a bag of frozen peas. This can be used as a reusable ice pack. When you’re finished icing the area just put the peas back in the freezer. Don’t eat the peas!

For moist heat, a real nifty trick is to put a wet towel inside a zip lock plastic bag. Leave a little opening in the zip lock bag. Wrap the zip lock bag with the wet towel inside it with another moist towel and place the whole thing in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. This will give you a moist heating pad that will last you about 20 minutes. Be very careful not to burn yourself.

Another way to get heat is to fill a thick tube sock with uncooked rice and put in the microwave for 2 minutes.

Whenever you use moist heat or ice to help with your pain, do not use the heat or cold longer than 20 minutes at a time. Keep a towel between the heat pack or ice pack and your skin to prevent either heat damage or frostbite.

There are telephones made with large buttons. This helps a lot if you have problems with painful hand joints.

Keep a daily log of when your arthritis pain occurs. You might find it points to activities that predictably cause you to flare up.

Car keys can be a pain. There are devices now that fit over keys that allow you to turn your key without causing stress and strain on your hands and wrists.

Get more information about arthritis and related conditions as well as...

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• Ignored remedies that eliminate fibromyalgia symptoms quickly!

• Obsolete treatments for knee osteoarthritis that still are used... and may still work for you!

• The stiff penalties you face if you ignore this type of hip pain...

• 7 easy-to-implement neck pain remedies that work like a charm!

• And much more...

Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Return to arthritis treatments home page.

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