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What Is Joint Protection?


Updated June 21, 2010

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition: When you have degenerative joint conditions, such as arthritis, joint protection is important. Joint protection techniques prevent excessive forces or strain on the joints during everyday tasks.

Joint protection can include changing the way you hold an object, using devices that make tasks easier, or gently strengthening the muscles around a susceptible joint.

Some examples of joint protection techniques include:

  • Using a rubberized jar opener
  • Pushing a wheeled cart instead of carrying heavy items
  • Performing water exercises to increase your leg strength
  • Using larger handles on objects, such as a pen or a spoon
  • Changing out rounded door handles to levers
Occupational therapists often educate patients who have rheumatoid arthritis about joint protection techniques to reduce strain on their hands during everyday tasks.
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