Use your Living Space Wisely
Make Custom Cold Packs
You’ve likely heard that heat and cold therapy can soothe your aching joints. Fortunately, you can make your own ice packs – as big or as small as you want – with a few simple ingredients.
Take a Ziploc bag of your choice and fill with a solution of two parts water and one part alcohol, or else use a viscous liquid like dish soap or corn syrup. The packs can live in your freezer, and will mould to your knee, elbow, wrist or ankle perfectly for quick relief.
Get a Little Lift
Standing up from a chair, bench, or toilet seat can be a real pain in the knees. Instead of struggling to shift your weight each time you sit and stand, consider using a seat lift for your chair, and a raised toilet seat for the bathroom.
Sitting a few inches higher may be all you need to stand up without pain, and considering how many times you sit and stand throughout the day, that can really make a difference come bedtime.
Tape up Your Floor
Trips lead to falls, and falls are a major health hazard when you live with OA. It’s a good idea to replace worn out or frayed carpets and have any uneven floorboards repaired, but some well-placed tape can help, too. Use bright red or blue tape (you’ll tend to notice these colors quickly) along the front edge of each stair, any uneven spot on the floor, and before any doorjamb to remind yourself of the tripping hazard.
There are plenty of ways to make little movements more manageable, but first you’ll have to determine your priorities. Is bending the most difficult, or do you have more trouble reaching? You can certainly work up to a whole home makeover, but be sure to begin with the areas and tasks that challenge you most often, and demand the most of your muscles and joints.