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For Everyone

Stretch. No matter what your job is, you probably do certain activities over and over again, or get into the same sitting or standing position for long periods of time. To protect your joints, break that cycle.

“Set an alarm on your watch, phone, or computer to remind you to take a break and stretch every 40 minutes or so,” says Manno. If you spend most of your time sitting, stand up, stretch, and walk around for a few minutes. If you spend most of your time standing, stretch and then take a few minutes to sit.

Use the Right Tool. “When you have OA in your fingers or hands, you shouldn’t be doing any tight pinching,” says Supnekar. That means selecting the right tool for the job: like a felt-tip pen instead of a ball point, a properly sharpened knife or pair of scissors for cutting, and tools for tasks like kitchen work and gardening with padded handles. When opening bags or boxes, use scissors or a cutting device, rather than yanking at them with your hands.

Time Your Meds. If you have certain times of the day when you know you’ll be doing particularly repetitive or joint-straining work, take your pain relievers according to that schedule. “Think about what your day is like and when you’re most uncomfortable,” says Manno. “If you know you’ll be writing reports for four hours in front of the computer, take your medication a bit before you’re about to start that work.”