When you are suffering from arthritis pain due to elbow arthritis, you may notice that it becomes more difficult to get dressed in the mornings, brush your teeth and reach for objects. If your arthritis pain also affects your wrists or finger joints, these activities may be particularly troublesome. Luckily, there are many assistive devices that can help you perform your daily functions despite arthritis pain.
Support Devices: Braces or Slings
Your doctor or occupational therapist can help you choose the devices that fit your particular needs in coping with elbow arthritis. He or she may also fit you for an elbow brace or sling to provide more support for your elbow. Some elbow splints are “static” and do not allow elbow motion, while others may be “dynamic” with carefully placed hinges that permit varying degrees of flexion and extension.
In order to make brushing your teeth easier, you may wish to invest in an electric toothbrush. In addition, there are special squeeze containers for toothpaste that you may find helpful. Other grooming aids such as special nail clippers, comb holders, safety rails and bathtub seats are also available.
Reachers are one of the most popular tools for people with elbow arthritis. Reachers allow you to pick up something without having to extend or bend your arm for it. You may also find that turning the knobs of doors and using keys has become harder. Lever-type door handles are easier to use than knobs. Enlarged key holders will give you a better grip and allow you to easily turn a key. If turning water on or off is hard, you may wish to invest in faucet turners with long handles that can be turned with the back of your hand or wrist.
Instead of buying clothes with buttons or zippers, purchase or modify clothes with Velcro fasteners. Dressing aids such as buttoners and unbuttoners, zipper openers, and sock or shoe aids, may also help you get ready in the mornings.
You can buy most of these assistive devices in department stores, medical supply stores, through specialized mail-order catalogs, or through medical assistance.