6 ways to Manage Arthritis at Work

Arthritis is a bone and joint disease that affects the daily lives of more than 180 million people in India. Its painful onset can compound your workplace stresses and make it challenging to perform the simplest of tasks at work. Here are 6 ways to improve the quality of your work life with this painful and mobility restricting disease.

 

  1. Plan your workflows


    Planning is half the battle won when it comes to Arthritis. Analyse the way your job is designed with your employer and plan your daily activities well in advance every day to ensure that you don't have any stressful deadlines that could force you to push the limits of your body. You can also try to negotiate ways to modify a few things like work timings and desk location to better suit your limited mobility as an arthritis patient.
  2. Watch out for Repetitive Stress Injuries


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    Repetitive movements (like typing on your keyboard for hours) can damage your tendons and muscles and cause severe nerve pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common Workplace Repetitive Stress injury (RSI) that is caused due to a compression in your wrist nerves. The condition is aggravated due to excessive mouse usage and improper seating ergonomics. Make it a habit to take a break every once in a while and exercise your wrists to relieve any pressure, numbness or shooting pains that are symptomatic of this RSI.

  3. Fix your posture

    A poor sitting posture can significantly aggravate any arthritis-related pain in your body. Learn to be mindful of your body’s mechanics (with relation to arthritis) and ensure that you always keep your body in a neutral position to minimise any strain to your neck (and joints in your) hands and feet. Slightly bent knees and wrists in line with your forearm are examples of good neutral positions for minimising any posture related strains.

  4. Keep active

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    Stiffness in your joints and body are a common side effect of Arthritis. You can avoid this by taking regular breaks and walking around your office or by changing your seating position to improve blood circulation. You can also relieve some pressure by keeping your feet on an elevated stool or doing a few stretches occasionally during your breaks.

  5. Avoid stressing your joints

    Arthritis in its advanced stages can severely restrict movement and impede your ability to carry out any physical tasks and activities. This is why it's crucial to avoid stressing your joints with activities like climbing stairs as that can cause severe pain and joint damage. Also be careful about stressing your back when you lift heavy objects and make it a habit to ask for assistance when you are in such situations.

  6. Ease your stress with Arthritis friendly equipment

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    While it is imperative to reduce your share of walking to and fro in the office, it will be close to impossible to rule out any walking despite your condition. You can in such cases lower the burden on your back (literally) by opting for arthritis friendly and ergonomically designed gadgets like office chairs with great back support and cushioning, briefcases with wheels, collapsible carts, ergonomic mice, and keyboards.


A holistic approach to minimising any potential avenues for potential joint strain will ultimately define a successful workplace strategy. Learn to be mindful of any potential stress triggers that could lead to anger, tiredness or depression. Practice relaxation techniques like meditation or light yoga every day to strengthen your joint muscles as well as ease any pains and finally learn to be aware of your physical limits and conserve your finite pools of energy by only taking up work that you can truly handle to avoid getting burned out at work.

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