HAND CARE TIPS
are constantly on the go. Every day activities, such as preparing a meal,
woodworking, carrying grocery bags, or using your computer, can damage your
hands over time. Joint protection techniques can help reduce pain, stress, and
inflammation of your joints. These techniques can also help prevent further
deformities and increase your independence in daily activities. There are
many easy and inexpensive ways to protect your hands. Here are a few tips to
keep your hands healthy:+
Give Your Hands a Break:
have pain during an activity, stop the activity. Pain is one of the best ways
your body has of letting you know that you are causing tissue damage. So
listen to and respect your pain.
the small joints of your hands and avoid carrying several plastic grocery
bags at once to save time. Use paper bags, carry them one at a time, and hold
them at the bottom instead of using the handles.
is painful, try using a thick, rubber grip pen with a gel tip or roller ball
to decrease the amount of pressure used.
to stretch and take rest breaks every 15 minutes during repetitive or
prolonged activities such as needlework, painting, sewing, knitting,
hammering, and filing.
which activities aggravate your symptoms & avoid or modify them; don’t be
afraid to ask others for help.
shampoos and toothpaste-use the palm of your hand to pump instead of
squeezing the container.
Don’t Use your Hand as a Tool:
your mail open - use a letter opener to open the mail.
utility scissors in the kitchen - do not rip open bags.
the right tool for the job - use pliers for tight pinch and a small hammer
staple remover instead of your fingers and thumb.
Get rid of
your manual can opener - go electric! Manual can openers place excessive
strain on your joints.
holding open books or magazines with one hand - use a bookstand or holder to
bring the book to eye level and a book clip or “chip” clip to avoid prolonged
Use Adaptive Equipment to Decrease Stress on your
devices to hold objects so that you don’t have to, i.e. a vice, a cutting
board with picks to hold food, etc.
to enlarge small diameter objects such as paring knives, cutlery,
toothbrushes, paintbrushes, pens and pencils.
lightweight kitchen, gardening, and workshop tools with built-up handles.
non-slip jar opener – opening jars places undue stress on your joints.
If you have
pain when using keys to open doors, consider adding a key extender to your
have difficulty opening doorknobs or faucets, purchase doorknob or water
faucet handle extenders.
card holder if you play cards for extended periods of time.
search on the Internet for “adaptive equipment” are available.