Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Top 4 Tools for use with Hand Pain

Joint pain is miserable wherever you feel it, but when your hands are aching and swollen everything seems impossible. After trial and error, these are all a part of my daily life with joint pain. Call them tools, call them minor adjustments but small victories add up by the end of the day.

  1. Spill-Proof Cups 
When hands are stiff, swollen and painful clumsy is not my middle name, its my first name. Insulated cups can be found anywhere these days. My favorite happens to be Tervis. Tervis tumblers are bit more on initial expense but worth it in the long term. All pieces are dishwasher safe they come in all shapes and sizes.
Most importantly, insulated cups are usually thicker and easier for grip. No matter what brand you like, pay close attention to the lid, one that seals properly will help prevent spills if you accidentally drop it. 
I lovingly refer to them as my adult "sippy cups" but as easily as I get the drops when my hands are hurting, I never leave home without one.
  
2. Compression Tubing

 Think of compression tubing as a hug for painful joints.You can spend lots of money on compression gloves, compression sleeves, compression gauntlets (fingerless gloves) but out of all the ones I've tried, I haven't found one yet that was worth the money spent. Check your local medical supply store for compression tubing. Usually purchased by the foot or yard, compression tubing is cost effective, it also comes in many sizes.  Personally, I buy several feet at a time, but it into lengths that cover from knuckles to wrist and a small slit for the thumb. Compression tubing will make it months if you wash it and lay it out to dry.  

3. Scissors

Grip can be a major issue when you hands are hurting. When opening anything keep scissors handy. Any size, any shape, anywhere. Small scissors or even the very tiny scissors that come in a manicure set can be carried in a purse or your car. Kitchen scissors often even come with a bottle opener or gripper for multi-use and are great for "chopping" herbs. When looking around, double check that the handles are right work for your hands.

4. Grip Cushion Tubing

Finding a constant theme here? Yes, that's right, grip is an issue. Grip tubing also comes in different sizes. Usually in 1 foot sections that can be cut to size, this stuff works on everything! My first choice is usually finding an actual thick grip item (toothbrush, hairbrush, cooking utensils) but unfortunately the whole world isn't designed for those of us with crooked hands. I use this stuff on everything from eye liner to pens. **If the inner space is not wide enough for your item, the tubing can be split down the side and then wrapped with medical tape.


There's a multitude of arthritis devices out there. You can also subscribe to magazines and web searches. Most of what I have tried has been on advice from some other arthritis warrior recommendation. Depending on the severity of your symptoms you may also want to look into hairdryer stands, key turners, or can openers. They even make special door knobs and lamp switches for people with arthritis!

I'm always preaching whatever works for you. Hopefully, I can save you a few pennies and help you find something that helps ease your painful hands without spending a fortune!

Do you have any favorite products?