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How to Manage Hand and Wrist Arthritis with a Desk Job

How to Manage Hand and Wrist Arthritis with a Desk Job

Hand and wrist arthritis diagnoses are both on the rise. About one in seven people have wrist arthritis, and hand arthritis cases have increased by 82% since 1990.  If you have one of these types of arthritis, then you know that juggling a desk job while dealing with hand and wrist arthritis can be challenging. 

The good news: With the right strategies at work and the right treatments at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center,  you can maintain productivity without sacrificing your comfort.

Here are nine ways to manage hand and wrist arthritis with a desk job, courtesy of Dr. Dustin Hamoy, DPT, MTC, DNC, CKTP, CWCHP.

1. Assess your ergonomic workspace

Ergonomics is about adjusting your workspace to fit your body mechanics. This includes adjusting your desk to work with your hands and wrists. You can:

Not only do good ergonomics support healthy wrists and hands but also helps prevent other musculoskeletal issues such as neck or back pain.

2. Stretch regularly 

Even with the right set up, give your hands and wrists frequent breaks throughout the day. Short breaks help to combat stiffness and pain. Set reminders to stretch your hands and wrists, rotate your wrists gently, and perform simple exercises to maintain flexibility and reduce tension. Wrist extension and flexion, sponge squeeze, and thumb pulls are all good examples.

3. Use assistive devices

In addition to ergonomic keyboards and mouse alternatives, you might consider assistive devices such as speech-to-text software. This can help reduce the repetitive motions that may exacerbate arthritis symptoms.

4. Practice joint-friendly typing

Use a light touch when typing to minimize stress on your joints. Don’t pound on the keyboard as that can strain your fingers. Consider learning touch typing techniques that promote efficiency without requiring excessive force on the keys.

5. Upgrade your pens

Chances are good that you aren’t just typing at your desk. If you regularly write notes, sign reports, or take notes, consider upgrading your pens. Choose pens with larger grips that are easier to hold.

6. Stay hydrated 

Keep a refillable water bottle at your desk. According to the Arthritis Foundation, drinking adequate water can help:

Although the coffee break may be tempting at work, hydrate with water primarily. Aim for 64 ounces each day. 

7. Practice stress management techniques

Stress can exacerbate arthritis symptoms because when your body is stressed, it triggers chemicals that trigger inflammation. If you’re feeling stressed (at home or at work), practice stress-relief techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or brief walks. 

8.  Eat a balanced diet

Although there isn’t a miracle diet for arthritis, certain foods do help fight inflammation. Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, cold water fish, nuts and seeds, and beans into your diet.

9. Consider laser therapy

Even with the best ergonomic setup and regular stretching, you might not be able to manage hand and wrist pain on your own. That’s where the Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center comes into the picture. 

Dr. Hamoy may recommend multiwave locked system (MLS®) laser therapy (ASA Laser). Laser therapy helps arthritis pain because it promotes healing in your joints. Laser energy also triggers the growth of new cells and improves your circulation. As a result, laser therapy can help you avoid other treatments like joint injections.

Don’t let hand and wrist pain keep you from performing your best at work. Call our Glen Burnie, Maryland, office at 659-204-5737 to find out if laser therapy is right for you. You can also click here to get started. 

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