Arthritis Equipment
Lifestyle And Self-Help Kitchen Aids

Arthritis AidsPictures of Arthritis Equipment

Aids for Arthritis Patients
Back Brace Offers Support

Arthritis Equipment

Contents

Introduction
Aids For The Home
Pain Relief Aids
Mobility Devices


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Guide to Arthritis

Introduction

Many people with arthritis experience difficulties with everyday activities caused by their condition (particularly those with arthritis of the hands). However, some may not realize that there are aids and gadgets available which can make life easier and more independent. Certain gadgets can simply make tasks easier to carry out, while other pieces of equipment can help reduce pain associated with symptoms of arthritis as well as improve comfort and safety carrying out tasks. An occupational therapist or local arthritis support group will be able to offer advice on your specific requirements. In the meantime, below is a general idea of the sorts of products available.

Aids For The Home

Most of these products can be found on Amazon.

Door Knob Grips: Image. Placed over door knobs making opening doors much easier.
Sock Pulling Aid: Image. For those who have difficulties bending at the waist, particularly important for those with hip arthritis.
Button Grips: Image. A little tool which makes tying buttons easier.
Rubber Grips: For pens and pencils so you do not have to grip as hard to write. Or buy pens with grips already attached.
Key Turner: Image. This device makes grasping and turning keys (for the home and car) easier.
Lace-Amatic: Image. Small transparent device which makes tying laces pain free.

For The Kitchen

Automatic Jar Openers: Image. No twisting or hand strength required. (One brand: Black & Decker). Manual versions are also available.
Most Blenders & Food Choppers: Great for saving the wrists, fingers and hands from painful movements.
Tap Turners: Image. These little devices grip onto taps, and make it easier to turn taps on/off.
Non-Slip: Cutting boards and table mats.

Pain Relief Aids

Back Braces

These are rigid braces which are paneled for support and tie with velcro straps around the lower back. They are designed for people with lumbar back pain as a result of arthritis, as well as disc hernia’s and back injuries. Thermoskin are the most popular. They also provide a range of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation products and are recommended by The Advocacy HealthCare Federation. If you have received an arthritis diagnosis, and it is causing back pain, this may be a good option.

Knee Braces

The Swede-O Osteoarthritis Knee Brace is designed for people with unicompartmental osteoarthritis (where joint degeneration is limited to one side of the knee). Attached above and below the knee (image), this brace offers pain relief and corrects walking (gait) abnormalities associated with osteoarthritis. A relatively new invention, this brace may also delay the progression of osteoarthritis. Another product: the Thermoskin Offloading Knee Brace is for those with arthritic conditions or those recovering from a knee injury. See also, arthritis of the knee.

Hand & Wrist Products

Thermoskin and other companies (e.g. IMAK) offer a range of hand and wrist products which benefit not only those with arthritis but also with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, repetitive stress injuries, tendonitis and soft tissue injuries. The arthritis glove fits like a regular glove (image) but is anatomically designed to provide warmth and compression, which can relieve pain. The Carpal Tunnel glove is longer offering extra support to injured or painful wrists.

Mobility Devices

Elevated Raised Toilet Seats with Armrests

This contraption fits and locks onto most ordinary household toilets (image). The armrests are usually padded for extra comfort. Available online for between $50 to $80.

Seat Lift Assists

These clever little products transform any chair (armchair, recliner, kitchen chair, office seat) into a lift chair (image). Typically lifts provide for users weighing up to 300 pounds and are portable, so can be used in various locations. They can be placed discretely under seat cushions. Uplift Technologies produce a variety of lifts which assist by lifting about 80 percent of a person's weight. Prices range from $200 to $600.

Wheeled-Walkers

Walkers (also known as rollators) are a wonderful help for those who have difficulties walking (image). Walkers are suitable for those who have restricted leg movement but not restricted enough to require a wheelchair. These devices support a person while they are walking. The user keeps their hand on the walker at all times so that they do not loose balance. Some walkers also have seats, which are a useful addition to keep an eye out for. An occupational therapist will be able to recommend the most suitable type for you. Wheeled walkers are the most suitable for someone with arthritis as they glide more easily with movement. Prices range on average from $200-$800.

Tip: Natural Treatment for Arthritis
Alternative and homeopathic treatment for arthritis symptoms. Check out our section of books on arthritis for published diets and exercise programs.

Wheelchairs

Those with severe debilitating arthritis may eventually consider using an electric wheelchair. There are 4 types of power wheelchairs: Foldable wheelchairs, travel wheelchairs, standard wheelchairs and heavy duty wheelchairs for outdoor use. Each type of chair has different benefits and serves people with different mobility needs. Manufacturers include: Golden Technologies, Pride Mobility Products and Invacare. Also online, americanwheelchairs.com offers a wide range of new and used wheelchairs, and accepts Medicare and most private insurances. Prices range on average from $1,400 to $3,000.

Those buying a wheelchair should do so with the help of an occupational therapist. The therapist can set up trials with local suppliers and complete a wheelchair assessment outlining the prescribed requirements of the chair. This will result in a 'shopping list' of sorts, including wheel size requirement, chair dimension, cushions and backrest details. This assessment will be based on a physical examination of the patient, their cognitive abilities and list of functional abilities. The therapist can also advise on how to integrate the wheelchair into everyday activities at home or at work.

Scooters

Scooters (image) are ideal for those who may not require a mobility device for everyday use, but who still have difficulties managing longer excursions around shopping malls. If you are thinking about buying a scooter, do check what the maximum speed is, how much weight it can transport and how many miles you can expect to go on a full battery. Manufacturers include: Pride Mobility Products and Shoprider. Prices on average range from $900 to $2,000. Also, americanwheelchairs.com offers a wide range of new and used scooters.

  Related Articles on Arthritis

For more associated issues, see the following:

Arthritis Treatment: Therapies, medications and procedures.
Causes of Arthritis: What causes the disease?
Arthritis of the Shoulder: When pain starts in the shoulders.
Types of Arthritis: Literally hundreds of types of arthritis exist.

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