Joint Protection Principles

  1. Definition of Joint Protection


"Joint protection" is a means of using wisely. Joint protection does not mean eliminating use of that join.


  1. Principle 1: Use the strongest or largest joint possible to accomplish task.


Example: A door knob extender allows you to open a door with the palm of the hand instead of with fingers.


  1. Principle 2: Distribute a load over several joints.


Example: Use two hands to carry an object instead of one.


  1. Principle 3: Use each joint in its most stable and functional position.


Example: To pick up an object, face it directly to avoid twisting the trunk.


  1. Principle 4: Use good body mechanics.


Example: To lift objects from the ground, bend your legs instead of your back; pick up the object holding it as close to your body as possible; then rise, letting your leg muscles do the work.


  1. Principle 5: Reduce the effort required to do the job.


Example: Use wheels to transport things. Utility carts, tea tables, and shopping carts are just a few examples.


  1. Principle 6: Avoid prolonged periods of maintaining the same position.


Example: Alternate between sitting and standing positions.


  1. Principle 7: Encourage full and complete motions during daily activities.


Example: Reach as high as possible when washing windows.


  1. Principle 8: Avoid positions and activities leading to possible joint deformities.


Example: Avoid sleeping with pillows under your knee unless otherwise advised.


  1. Principle 8a: Avoid excessive pressure against the back of the fingers, the pads of the thumb and the thumb of each finger.


Example: When using spray cans or bottles, push down with the palm of the hand instead of the thumb tip.


  1. Principle 8b: Avoid tight grasps on objects and keep hand open whenever possible.


Example: Foam padding added to such articles as a toothbrush, pen, razor, fork, or comb will increase the size of the handle. The larger the grip, the less tension required to maintain your hold on these objects.


  1. Principle 9: Organize your work.


Example: Combine several errands in one trip whenever possible, especially if climbing stairs is involved.


  1. Principle 10: Balance work with rest.


Example: Schedule frequent rest periods during the day.  Alternate heavy and light tasks.


  1. Principle 11: Use efficient storage.


Example: Determine the easy way to reach areas and to use them for the most frequently used supplies.


  1. Principle 12: Eliminate unnecessary tasks.


Example: Use convenience foods, or prepare food in the easiest manner possible. For example, bake potatoes instead of mashing them.