Table 5: OASIS-Vancouver Coastal Health. Hand Osteoarthritis - Protecting Your Hands (Grey Literature online material on joint protection).

1. Use your bigger joints to complete a task • Carry your handbag with your shoulder or forearm. Carry only what you need.
• Push or pull items rather than carry them, e.g., use a wheeled cart for groceries
• Carry large or heavy items with two hands. Hug the object close to your body.
• Close drawers/doors with your hip or choose automatic doors when possible
• Push up from a chair using the palm of your hand, not your fingers. Choose higher chairs or use a firm cushion on your chair.
2. Plan ahead • Vary tasks and change your hand position often. Take breaks every 20-30 minutes.
• Spread heavier tasks throughout the week
• Rest your hands before they are tired or sore
• Organize your workspace to ensure hands and wrists are in a neutral posture
3. Use splints to protect your joints, either at rest or during activity • Talk to your care team to determine if a hand or thumb splint would be helpful for you
4. Change your grip and use adapted equipment to avoid tight gripping/squeezing and force through the thumb Writing, gardening Buy large-handled tools or make your handles larger with foam tubing
Cooking Adapted kitchen aids, e.g., finger vegetable peeler, ergonomic salad spinner
Opening jars and cans Jar seal-opener, non-slip grip, electric can opener
Twisting tops, squeezing tubes Products with pumps
Wringing out clothes Use the heel of your hand; sponge or washing brush
Driving Foam steering wheel cover
Pumping gas Use the lever on the handle to avoid squeezing for a long time
Pinching a key Keyholder
Reading Bookholder, books on tape, e-books
Opening mail Easy-to-squeeze scissors
Dressing Button hook, zipper pull
Opening doors, turning taps Lever taps and door handles
Gripping slippery items, e.g., removing credit cards from a wallet Use a piece of non-slip mat, e.g., Dycem; accordion-style wallet
Self-care, e.g., cutting nails, washing hair, etc. Adapted equipment from a pharmacy or medical supply store
5. Follow the exercises given to you by your health care team to keep your joints moving and your muscles strong No further instructions were given