19 Joint Pain Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier
If you’re dealing with chronic joint pain, you surely know how frustrating life can be sometimes. From tying your shoes to doing the laundry, even simple things become so difficult.
Well, I’ve been in that situation too. For this reason, I want to show you 19 joint pain hacks that will help you with daily activities. None of them will cure your pain, but they will make your life much easier.
1. Use An Automatic Detergent For The Dishes
Rubbing off all your family’s plates seems impossible when you have painful hands. And if you don’t have a washing machine, it’s even worse.
But fortunately, automatic detergents were invented.
All you have to do is to fill in your sink with water, add a few drops of automatic detergent and let the dishes soak in for a while. 10 minutes later, your dishes are perfectly clean. You only have to rinse them and the job is done.
You can find automatic detergents in most shops, for about $10-$15. In my opinion, they’re really worth it for someone with chronic joint pain.
2. Open The Doors With Your Shoulders
If it’s your hands that are painful and swollen, that’s one of the best tips you can get. Instead of opening every door normally, by pressing the door latch, try to push it using your arms or shoulders.
It’s true that not every door can be opened like this, but most do.
This tip works best if your hands are stiff and weak. In this case, opening the door by the latch can be really difficult and painful.
However, if both your hands and your shoulders are suffering, try to attach a thicker thread to the door latch. Opening the door by pulling the thread should be easier even with a stiff hand.
3. Have A Salty Bath At Least Once A Week
If you’re a fan of long baths, using a salt bath is a must.
Warm water helps your joints loosen up, but it can also worsen inflammation afterwards. However, scientists discovered that warm water combined with bath salt has the opposite effect.
Warm water makes your body absorb the minerals from the salt. In this way, the swelling from your joints decreases and your pain improves. Obviously, that’s not a permanent change. The inflammation comes back after a few hours, but not as strong as before.
As someone who deals with joint pain all the time, salty baths really help.
4. Get An Electric Toothbrush As Soon As Possible
If washing the dishes is hard, brushing your teeth is even harder if you have joint pain.
But fortunately, there’s another invention that can solve this problem – electric toothbrushes. All you have to do is to place it in your mouth, push the on/off button and it will do all the rubbing work for you.
Obviously, you have to move it around to make sure you clean all your teeth. So you still need to hold it for about 5 minutes, which can be hard sometimes. But at least you don’t have to rub it off.
To me, electric toothbrushes are one of the most useful devices I have. So if you’re not using one yet, make sure you buy it next time you visit your shop.
5. Tea Compresses Make Miracles
You’ve probably used compresses at least once in your life. Whether it was an ice or a hot one, it really helped, didn’t it?
Well, instead of using plain water for your compress, make an tea from an anti-inflammatory herb. You can use dandelion leaves, turmeric powder or even green tea, but there are many other examples.
After boiling the herb, use a damp cloth to apply it on your painful area and keep it for several minutes. The results are much better than with simple water.
It’s not necessary to use fresh leaves. I always made the infusion from tea bags or powder, and they really helped more than water.
6. Sit On Taller Pieces
If the pain is more pronounced in your legs and hips, even laying down can be a problems.
One of the really useful hacks I came across is sitting on higher furniture pieces. In this way, you’re not putting so much pressure on your joints. That makes it much easier to sit down and stand up.
Now, if you’re wondering where you can find such a furniture set, it’s quite simple. Any decent furniture shop has several models. There are hundreds on the market, so finding one won’t be a problem.
Besides, the prices are pretty similar to regular furniture. Many companies produce higher pieces merely for design, so you have plenty of options to choose from.
7. Hold Cups And Glasses With Both Hands
When there’s pain in your hands, even holding the mug becomes hard. For this reasons, many people with joint pain avoid to hold any glasses and prefer to drink with a straw. That’s a pretty smart hack, but you can’t avoid to pick up a glass forever.
Instead, what you can do is to hold it with both of your hands. In this way, there are little chances that you drop it.
But if you’re still afraid, use a mug or a cup. In this case, it’s even easier because they have a handle. Put one or both of your hands around that handle and you will surely hold it well.
So next time you think you can’t hold the glass, try this hack and you will surely get more confident.
8. Make A Habit Of Moving
Running and walking are hard when you can barely get out of bed because of pain. But unlike popular belief, the worst thing you can do for joint pain is not to move at all.
In this way, your already stiff joints will become even worse.
Resting doesn’t help stiffness at all, on the contrary. You may feel too tired to move your legs, but if you remain in bed for several days, moving will be even harder afterwards. In other words, every day when you don’t move will increase your stiffness.
For this reason, try to make a few steps even in the most painful days. It may be hard sometimes, but remember than it will get even harder without movement.
9. Tie A Key Chain To Your Zippers
When you have chronic joint pain in your hands, dressing up can be a real challenge. But I’ve found a way to make it easier.
This hacks refers to those clothes that close with a zipper. So if you don’t have one, I advise you to get it, at least for the most painful days.
What you have to do is to tie a key chain, a thread or any other long object to your zipper. After taking the clothing on, use that object to close the zipper and do the same when you want to open it. That would make it much easier even when your hands are very stiff.
10. Keep Your Diet Natural
Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are the secret to a healthy life. But did you know that processed food can worsen joint pain?
Fast foods, candies and even processed diary contain some substances called “advanced glycation end-products”. These compounds can increase the number of inflammatory molecules from our bodies.
The result is that your chronic inflammation can worsen after a while. Obviously, that doesn’t happen over night, but an unhealthy diet can have a huge impact over your pain.
Also, alcohol can increase an existing joint pain. Though there are a lot of theories, alcohol consumption can’t cause a chronic joint pain itself. However, it can worsen it, if that already exists.
So do you best and keep your diet fresh and natural. It may not be very pleasant, but it will be very beneficial for your joints.
11. Freeze A Vegetable Bag
Ice is a great help for soothing the pain, but a small cube doesn’t always cover the right surface. For this reason, you can use a can, an ice cream box or even a vegetable bag, as I do. You would normally keep these things in the fridge, so they’re not taking any extra space.
Apply the frozen box on your painful spot and let it work for a few minutes. Though the relief will only be temporary, this is a very useful trick in those very painful days.
And instead of using ice cubes, I believe frozen boxes are a smarter choice.
12. Carry Bags With Your Arms
If your joint pain is worse in your hands, this tip is great for you.
Let’s say you have to do the shopping for one week. After visiting the grocery store, the supermarket, maybe even a clothing shop, you probably have pretty heavy bags to carry. Well, instead of holding them with your hands, try to do it with your forearms. You can also put the bags on your shoulders, but only if they’re strong enough to hold the weight.
Normally, you stiff hands could barely hold the weight, even for a little while. But if you’re using your arms, it should get much easier. I always use this tip when I go shopping and I don’t always need help, as I did before.
Only make sure your bags have a handler, otherwise you will be forced to use your hands.
13. Use Straws For Any Drink
Holding a glass isn’t always easy, right? In the lines above, I gave you a tip about holding the mugs and cups with both hands. That really works, but if you’re holding a glass, it might be a bit harder.
For this reason, make sure you have plenty of straws inside your home. Use them when drinking your water, your cup of tea or even your smoothie.
You may be doing this already, but if you’re not, you really have to try it soon. That especially if your hands are the most problematic.
You can also use a straw for soups, but I only recommend you to do this at home, because it may seem really weird if you’re eating out.
However, do this only if you can’t hold the spoon properly. That’s an hand exercise itself, so don’t give up any kind of movement just because it hurts.
14. Use A Clip For Card Games
If you’re dealing with joint pain every day, playing cards may be just a dream. Well, I’ve found a solution for this too.
Instead of holding the cards with your fingers, use any kind of clip to hole them together. I don’t have a certain recommendation, as you can use any clip you have at home. All it matters is that it keeps the cards together.
So instead of holding the cards yourself, clip them together and hold the clip. That’s will give your fingers a break and it’s won’t keep them too tight together.
15. Perform Easy Exercises Daily
If you thought that resting was a solution for your pain, you were really wrong. Not performing any activity will make your hands and legs even stiffer than before.
For this reason, there are a lot of mini exercises meant to decrease the stiffness, or at least to keep it from increasing. For example, if it’s your toes that are stiff, you can try to move each toe in front and backwards or to rotate it. Do this slowly, turn by turn, but don’t use your hands. If you can’t rotate them, do the moving part and come back to this exercise the next day.
It’s the same for your fingers, shoulders or legs. Make sure you perform small movement exercises, especially in those days when they’re very stiff. That will take away part of the pain and it will also make you feel better the next day.
If you don’t have any motivation, use this one: “if I don’t do anything today, tomorrow it may be much worse”.
16. Buy A Lazy Susan Table
In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a rotating table with a tray in the middle. In some cases, it’s only the tray that rotates.
So why would you need this kind of furniture piece?
Well, it’s a life saver for people with achy leg joints. Just imagine that you don’t have to go in the other part of the room to get the salt box while cooking. Or that you’re doing the laundry and the detergent is in the opposite corner.
A lazy susan table would solve all this problems. Besides, you don’t even have to reach out any object, as you would only rotate the table in any direction you want.
That’s an awesome invention for people with leg problems, and it’s not even extremely expensive. It does cost more than regular tables, but you can find a smaller one for a pretty affordable price.
17. Get A Scissors In Every Room Of Your House
I believe there’s no joint pain sufferer that doesn’t know the importance of scissors. I personally use them for every kind of things, from opening the ketchup bags to opening the envelopes.
For someone with stiff hands, scissors are a necessity. For this reason, make sure you have a pair scissors in every room. Walking across the house isn’t that pleasant when you’re in pain, I know that myself.
Besides, keep a scissors in your bag whenever you go out, just in case. You never know when there’s an emergency and you have to go out unexpectedly.
18. Make Your Nightstand A Help
One of the most valuable tips I have for you is to keep all your necessary objects close to you.
You never know how long is going to be the morning stiffness from tomorrow. What if it lasts one hour and you have to go to work in half an hour? For this reason, make sure the things you use most are on your nightstand. I have a pain relief cream, a few supplements, towels and some heat pads that bring a very fast relief.
If you bring all you necessary stuff close to your bed, you won’t even need help from your family. You can be almost as independent as before.
19. Get A Stand For Your Hair Dryer
Blow drying your hair is never easy when your hands are in terrible pain and extremely stiff.
Well, fortunately for people like you and me, hair dryer stands were invented. You may not know what I’m talking about, but if you ever visited a hair salon, you’ve surely seen one. Just place your blow dryer on the stand and it will do all the work for you.
The good news is that hair dryer stands are not even that expensive. You can get one for even $15, depending of its quality and features. So if you don’t have this device at home, make sure you get one soon because it can spare you of a lot of pain.
So Get Ready To Have An Easier Life!
Most of the life hacks from above can be applied to any kind of joint pain. Obviously, if it’s your hands that are bothering, scissors and straws may be more useful than a lazy susan table.
For this reason, apply these 19 hacks to your case and try to overcome your condition.
What other life hacks for joint pain do you have? I’m sure you have created a few on your own, because all you need is a little bit of creativity. Besides, the benefits they bring can be huge.
Let me know about your joint pain hack in a comments and I will reach out to you.