People with hand arthritis should avoid pinching items between their thumb and forefinger because this puts extra stress on already painful joints. Try adding a short length of foam tubing over the handles of toothbrushes and eating utensils. Certain types of pipe insulation tubing, which can be found at hardware stores, may be useful.
Many kitchen tools, such as vegetable peelers, can now be purchased with larger handles.
This turning tool features a collection of collapsible metal pins. These pins individually depress so they can mold around objects such as oven knobs and the ends of car or house keys. Using the large handle on the tool helps people avoid the pinching motion required to turn knobs and keys.
Pens and pencils
Larger barrel pens — as well as rubbery grips that can be installed over narrow pens and pencils — can reduce stress on finger and thumb joints. Some pens are designed to be worn on a finger, while others are shaped like a Y so your forefinger can rest on top of the pen.
This type of kitchen knife allows your hand and wrist to stay in a more neutral position, avoiding the pinch grip used with traditional knives. Use an electric food processor to chop large quantities of vegetables.
This type of cutting board may help protect hand joints by reducing the amount of force needed to hold on to food while chopping. The nail pegs and raised ledge help secure food during meal preparation.
When you're faced with a stubborn jar lid or bottle cap, many different types of opening devices can reduce the amount of stress placed on your hand joints. For cans, use an electric can opener to avoid the finger strain of turning a hand-held model.
In normal scissors, your hand must work to open the scissors as well as close them. Spring-loaded scissors open automatically, which reduces joint strain.
To protect your finger joints, avoid tightly pinching with your fingers. For example, use a buttonhook to help you grasp and fasten buttons on your clothes. Choose clothes with easy-to-close fasteners, such as zippers, large buttons or hooks.
Squeezing a doorknob can be hard on finger joints. A lever attachment makes it easier to open the door.
Avoid suspending the entire weight of a heavy briefcase or purse in your fingers. Use a shoulder strap instead.
Holding a book
Use your palms to hold an object when you can, such as when reading a book or magazine. This helps you avoid bending the large knuckles of your hand while keeping your finger joints straight. Or try placing reading materials flat on a table or on a pillow in your lap to avoid grasping the items with your hands.
Getting up from a chair
Use your legs to help you stand up. If necessary, push off on the arms of the chair or a nearby table with your palms — not your knuckles. Another option is to place your palms on your thighs or knees to push off.