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Osteoarthritis: Tips for Daily Living

Making a few changes in your daily life can reduce stress on your problem joints. This helps protect the joints from further damage.

 Your Surroundings
Pick up objects with both hands.

  • Arrange cupboards, closets, desks, and drawers to reduce reaching and bending.

  • Arrange furniture to make it safer and easier to get around.

  • Secure or remove rugs, power cords, and other items that might make you slip or trip.

Think Ahead

  • Combine errands so that you make fewer trips up and down stairs.

  • Break up loads of packages so that you carry less weight with each trip.

  • If you need help with chores or errands, arrange for it in advance.

  • If you need to lift something heavy, ask for help.

  • Plan your moves ahead of time to use your good joints.

Use What’s Available
Sit on a chair or stool to reduce strain on your hips and knees.

To rest your hands, back, and neck:

  • Make sure that knives are sharp.

  • Use a “grasper” to reach and grab.

  • Use soap-on-a-rope in the shower.

To rest your knees, hips, and lower back:

  • Wear shoes that fit well and give your feet good support.

  • Choose chairs with firm seats and armrests.

Assistive Devices

  • In the kitchen, use two-handled knives and saucepans.

  • For gardening, use a rolling bench to sit on or to hold your tools.

  • In the bathroom, try using grab bars, a raised toilet seat, or a shower seat.

  • A cane, brace, or walker may help you walk more easily. Make sure that it’s properly fitted and that you’re trained to use it.

Online Medical Reviewer: Barrus, Bryan, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Marian, Valentin, MD
Last Review Date: 2/9/2012
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.