|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|