If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from arthritis, you understand the toll it takes on your body. Many sufferers even shy away from joining in their favorite activities due to the pain. And, for others, simple acts like getting dressed can be hugely painful. That’s why we’ve gathered together 38 of the top arthritis aids for relieving your pain and helping you get back to your life.
Why are some arthritis aids better than others?
Arthritis aids is a catch-all term to describe any of the tools, devices, or products people use to make life with arthritis a little easier. These arthritis aids may reduce bending-over movements if you suffer from hip arthritis, or they may make it a dream to open jars if you have arthritis of the hands.
The best arthritis aids are those that you use often, and easily. Cumbersome or overly expensive devices only drain you of time and money. Usually the simplest solution is the best one.
The Arthritis Foundation also put together the Ease of Use Commendation to recognize products that were proven to make life easier for people with arthritis. You’ll see that many of our recommendations here also receive this commendation. Since this program has a limited scope, we’ve also relied on online reviews and our own patient testimonials to pick out the best arthritis aids to help you get back to your life.
Do note that Pain Doctor doesn’t endorse any of these products, nor do we receive any money from affiliate ads. Always talk to your doctor before using any of these products to ensure that it will help with your specific pain condition.
The best arthritis gloves
When you suffer from arthritis of the hands, mild compression from arthritis gloves can actually help reduce your pain and inflammation. It also helps retain warmth and increase your circulation. The Arthritis Foundation recommends five different arthritis gloves from IMAK®, depending on your needs:
- Standard arthritis gloves with open fingertips
- Open-finger active gloves with a non-skid texture
- Full-fingered arthritis gloves
- Active gloves with full-finger and non-skid texture
- SmartGlove® to relieve wrist pain from carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, or tendonitis
Reviewers of these arthritis aids say they provide immediate, snug support for their hands. Whether you want open-finger comfort or a more slim and active style, there are many arthritis gloves you can choose from. Reviewers on Amazon also love VIVE’s arthritis compression gloves, with 4.3 stars and over 1,000 reviewers. Also check out Dr. Frederick’s arthritis gloves for rheumatoid arthritis relief with a 4.4 star rating from over 300 reviewers.
Want to go high-tech? Sharper Image also sells a total hand compression massager. It’s pricey (over $100), but many arthritis patients claim that it’s a worthwhile investment that “works wonders.” The heated massage provides relaxing compression and treatment for arthritic hands.
Arthritis reachers and grabbers
Next to arthritis gloves, reachers and grabbers are some of the most helpful arthritis aids to have in the home. These arthritis helpers can help you reduce pain if you have arthritis of the shoulder or hips. They can reach up to grab anything from top shelves, or are dexterous enough to pick up fallen keys from the floor. Almost 2,000 Amazon reviewers gave VIVE’s reacher assist tool a 4.5 star review. It’s a simple tool that gives users up to 32″ of extended reach. It can pick up items as large as five pounds.
“Some can be hard to use if you have pain in your fingers, says Lenore Frost, PhD, a clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. Look for reachers that don’t put too much stress on painful finger joints.”
Kitchen tools for arthritic hands
From the high-tech to the effortlessly simple, you can find many arthritis aids for the kitchen. Everyday Health recommends two of their favorites: An electronic jar opener to reduce strain and a simple-to-use grocery bag holder. The jar opener relieves tension from the gripping and twisting motion. The bag holder is cushioned, easy to grip, and can carry up to 50 pounds.
Want to outfit your whole kitchen in arthritis-friendly tools? OXO Good Grips creates a 15-piece set of your most often used kitchen tools. Each come with large, padded handles that many arthritis sufferers swear by, even for more severe cases of pain. Their standard set includes a spatula, spoon, grater, whisk, and much more. Buy them together or separate if you don’t need the full set. They also produce a jar opener for arthritis that many say even works if you have severe arthritis in your thumb.
Another great option for opening jars is the under-cabinet mounted option. Almost 2,000 Amazon reviewers love EZ Off’s discrete and easy-to-use kitchen tool.
You can go even more low-tech than that. Some of the best and most useful arthritis aids are simple handle grips that slide over your favorite kitchen tools and silverware. Ableware’s built-up handles reduce the pain and discomfort that comes with holding objects with small diameters. And they can be used to fit many items, including toothbrushes and forks. It’s a simple and easy fix, but it works for so many arthritis patients. Others swear by a similar idea, but different style of, grip aid by Numuv.
The best pens for arthritis
The only Arthritis Foundation Ease of Use certified pen is Pilot’s Dr. Grip. It features a large, soft barrel to grip onto. It’s been found to reduce writing stress and fatigue.
Another great option is the PenAgain, a tension-free writing system with a no-grip design. These can drastically reduce strain on arthritic hands.
However, just as with kitchen tools for arthritis, you can easily make your own pens for arthritis. The Pencil Grip sells soft and squishy arthritis helpers in a 12 pack of assorted colors. Slip these onto your own favorite pens and pencils around the home.
Arthritis helpers for dressing
Getting dressed in the morning, and undressed at night, is another time of high pain and difficulty for many arthritis patients. There are two multi-use tools that arthritis patients love: button hook and zipper pull tools by VIVE and Vivi.
Vive’s model is simple, with a large squishy handle and an easy-to-use pull and hook. Over 100 Amazon reviewers have given it a 4.6 star review.
Vivi’s tool looks like a small Swiss Army knife, with four different tools. It includes a zipper pull, small button hook, larger button loop, and shoelace tool.
Knee braces for arthritis
Knee braces are one of the more common arthritis aids that can substantially improve your quality of life. While arthritis gloves provide extra compression, knee braces the support you need to get back to doing the activities you love. Since exercise is such an important component of arthritis treatment, braces can positively affect your current pain and reduce pain in the future.
We wrote about ten of our favorite knee braces for arthritis in a recent post. Check it out for more information. Your options range from mildly compressing sleeves to unloader knee braces for more severe arthritis pain.
Best shoes for arthritis
When it comes to shoes for arthritis, you have lots of options. The Arthritis Foundation’s Ease of Use program recommends their top three arthritis shoes from the Gravity Defyer company.
Their Extora shoes look similar to a sneaker, and have an extra deep toebox for sensitive feet. It features adjustable Velcro closures and is large enough to accommodate orthotics or thick socks. Their Lulu shoes provide the same support with a stylish single decorative buckle and in multiple widths.
Finally, the Londonian shoe looks like a classic walking shoe, with an adjustable wide quick-strap closure so you can easily take them on and off.
You don’t have to get a full new shoe wardrobe, though. Many therapists recommend trying elastic shoelaces for arthritis. With these, you just tie them once and then you can stretch the shoe each time to slip it on. Tying the last at the toe rather than the top of the shoe gives you more space to slip your foot in.
Our favorite arthritis socks
Just like arthritis gloves, arthritis socks provide compression and heat for your aching feet. Socks from Fittest Pro are made from a soft and flexible material for sensitive feet. Almost 100 reviewers on Amazon have given them a 4.5 star review.
Many arthritis patients with pain in their backs or hips also appreciate using a sock arthritis aid. This simple tool includes a sock holder and two ropes. You simply place your sock on the tool and pull them up on your feet with the ropes, and without bending over. Almost 2,000 Amazon reviewers give RMS’s design 4.5 stars.
Get help with your arthritis
Beyond these arthritis helpers, you can also find tools that help you open door knobs more easily, get out into the garden, or drive safely. You can find these and more arthritis aids at MaxiAids.com, AidsForArthritis.com, and ArthritisSupplies.com.
The first step to treating arthritis is to incorporate lifestyle helpers like these into your life, along with a safe exercise program. Beyond that, there are natural and interventional methods to help you treat and relieve your arthritis pain. A qualified pain specialist can help you diagnose your condition and talk about treatment options that could work for you.
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