Hobbies for arthritis sufferers

  • Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 12:01 a.m.
    UPDATED: Friday, March 23, 2012 9:59 a.m.

Individuals with arthritis are often stuck between a rock and a hard place. Doctors want people to exercise to keep up the range of motion in affected joints. However, even some limited movements can cause pain and suffering to those with arthritis. Furthermore, individuals with arthritis may shy away from the activities they once enjoyed because the pain is simply too overwhelming.

Instead of simply sitting on the couch watching television, there are a number of different things arthritis sufferers can do to pass the time and reconnect with past hobbies and interests. It might just take a little re-outfitting of the tools that are needed to participate.
Gardening

Gardening is a popular pastime for people of all ages. But the repetitive motions of digging and tilling as well as gripping a multitude of tools can take the joy out of the hobby. People with arthritis can make some changes. Raised garden beds or container gardening eliminates the stooping and bending associated with traditional gardening. With containers, individuals can place the containers on a counter or table and do all the work at a comfortable height.

Choosing low-maintenance plants is another option. Plants that don't require as much pruning or repotting are good for those with arthritis. Also, look for tools with larger grips and handles to be easier on arthritic hands.
Crafting

Many people with arthritis find the fine-detail work they grew accustomed to is not very comfortable with arthritis. Instead, there are many other crafts that can be practical.

Ceramics are one craft where the activity can also be the exercise. Using a pottery wheel or hand-molding doughs and other modeling media can be a way to stretch and work the hands and fingers. Using paintbrushes equipped with wider grips can make painting possible.

Mural painting is another option. Again, those with arthritis can choose tools with wide handles to make grasping easier. Large designs on walls or canvases will be easier to handle than smaller pieces.
Cooking

Cooking and baking is an art form that can be enjoyed by anyone. Furthermore, with ergonomic spoons, ladles and other kitchen tools, it has never been more convenient or less labor-intensive to be an accomplished home chef.

Baking and pastry creation is one area where people can show off creative skills. For those who love to bake but have trouble kneading and working dough, food processors, bread machines and kitchen stand mixers can take the work out of those processes.

Cooking is not only a rewarding hobby but also an activity that can benefit the household.

Having arthritis doesn't mean a person has to give up on the activities he or she enjoys. It merely involves a few tweaks that can still make these hobbies enjoyable.

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