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3 Ways to Protect Your Joints continued...

Make these three things a habit:

1. Pace yourself. Switch between heavy, hard, or repetitive tasks and light or easy tasks. Or take breaks.

2. Be kind to your joints. Put as little stress on them as possible. Use larger, stronger joints when you can, instead of smaller ones. For example, wear a shoulder bag rather than a handheld purse.

3. Get an assist. Many helpful devices -- such as canes, grab bars, extra-thick pens, luggage carts, or sit/stand stools -- can make your day easier. Ask an occupational therapist which ones would help you.

It's natural to have flare-ups, but then you'll have periods where you feel better. If you notice any new symptoms, talk to your doctor. That will help keep things in check so you don't get more joint damage. With treatment, you can keep your symptoms under control.

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