Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Joint Protection Dos and Don’ts

Use Your Largest, Strongest Joints

Try not to place a lot of strain on any single joint. Use large, strong joints to spare small, fragile ones. Here are some tips:

  • Carry a shoulder bag instead of a clutch or handbag.
  • Hold grocery bags in your arms, close to your body. Don’t grip them with your hands.
  • Hold small items in your palms instead of your fingers.
  • Use both hands or your shoulder to open heavy doors.
  • Hold items with two hands instead of one.

Practice Good Posture

Proper posture protects your shoulder, hip, and knee joints. To practice good posture when you lift, keep your back straight, separate your feet to widen your base, and bend at your knees and hips, not your waist.

When seated, rest your feet flat on the floor and keep your knees and hips bent at a 90-degree angle. Sit upright and lift your chest. Imagine a string tied to the second button of your shirt or blouse going straight up toward the ceiling.

Eat for Joint Health

Although there is no specific diet to ease rheumatoid arthritis or keep joints strong, some nutrients may have positive, protective effects:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements can reduce inflammation associated with RA. Good sources are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, and sardines.
  • Calcium and vitamin D. Many people with RA don't get enough calcium and vitamin D. Both are important for strong bones, which you need for healthy joints. They also help hold off osteoporosis, which also becomes more likely when you have RA. Most adults need 1,000-1,200 milligrams of calcium a day and 600-800 international units of vitamin D daily.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on November 20, 2014
1 | 2

Today on WebMD

rubbing hands
Avoid these 6 common mistakes.
mature couple exercising
Decrease pain, increase energy.
mature woman threading needle
How much do you know?
Swelling, fatigue, pain, and more.
Lucille Ball
Hand bones X-ray
prescription pills
Woman massaging her neck
woman roasting vegetables in oven
Woman rubbing shoulder
Working out with light weights