Managing Daily Activities

Even simple tasks can become difficult when you have arthritis. Use these 4 tips to help reduce pain and manage your daily activities.

1) Respect pain

  • Pain during or after an activity is a warning sign
  • Try changing the task or how long you do the task
  • Use splints, braces or insoles for painful activities

2) Pace yourself – Balance activity and rest

  • Take a short break or rest often
  • Use a timer to remind yourself to take a break
  • Change positions often or do another activity that uses a different part of your body

3) Time your activities with your medications

  • You may find you have good relief after you take your medications
  • Plan your hardest activities for the time you feel your best

4) Do range of motion exercises

  • Exercises will help keep you strong and your joints moving
  • Fit exercises into your normal routine. You might do them while watching TV

More ideas to manage activities

Arms and hands

Having problems with activities related to your arms and hands?  This brochure Managing Activities Arms and Hands has tips including:

  • Using larger, stronger joints –use a shoulder bag instead of a purse in your hand
  • Using two hands to pick up or hold items
  • Using a pen grip or key extension to avoid a sideways pressure on your fingers
  • Using a large grip to reduce the forces through your fingers
  • Choosing  tools or devices that use leverage, friction, padded or long handles


Having problems with activities related to your shoulders?  This brochure Protection for the Shoulders has tips.

Legs and feet

Having problems with activities related to your legs and feet. This brochure Managing Activities Legs and Feet has tips including:

  • Sit in a higher chair with arms to ease standing up
  • Reduce the use of stairs
  • Sit while doing kitchen activities or gardening
  • Having a healthy body weight puts less force through your hips and knees
  • Plan walks so you can take frequent breaks


Download tips for choosing the best shoes for your feet (with tips for choosing the best shoes for your feet as a hyperlink)
How to Choose a Supportive Shoe