Living With Arthritis

Bracing and other Aids for Living with Arthritis

Living with arthritis can be challenging. Arthritis is a condition causing inflammation of the joints leading to pain, stiffness, fatigue and limited mobility. According to The Arthritis Society, by 2031 approximately seven million Canadian (1 in 5) are expected to have arthritis. It can affect people of all ages and ethnicities but it mostly affects woman (two thirds). In the future, it is estimated that people aged 55 and older will account for the greatest increase in new cases.

The best way to counteract the symptoms caused by arthritis is early diagnosis – go see your doctor and explain your symptoms. Healthy eating and regular exercise also provide great benefits. For example, weight loss will help reduce the amount of pressure on your joints.

If you are living with arthritis, have a loved one who suffers from it, or are just curious about aids that can help with daily living, this article will cover some useful information.

Everyday Aids for persons suffering from Arthritis

Because arthritis affects the joints, simple tasks over the course of the day are affected; walking to the bathroom in the morning, reaching for a toothbrush in the medicine cabinet, and reaching down to put on your socks – all of these basic movements can become quite difficult for someone suffering from joint pain and weakness.

Knowing which daily living aid to choose depends upon when and how your arthritis flares up. Since dressing can be challenging for arthritis sufferers you might want to consider the following aids to assist you:

  • Acrylic Buttonhook allows you to button your shirts with one hand
  • Dressing stick which can be used for pulling on or pushing off clothing
  • Extra long shoe horn if bending down is an issue
  • Polyethylene Stocking Aid which helps with putting on your socks

Other items such as larger handled cutlery allow for easier grip to people who suffer from reduced dexterity due to Arthritis. Kitchen gadgets such as easy grip jar and can openers are also a great help along with everyday household accessories such as key turners and door knob grippers which are simple devices that Motion Specialties carries to assist with simple daily living tasks.

Selecting a brace application for persons suffering from Arthritis

Many people suffering from arthritis also look to braces to help them. The Arthritis Society often is a great place to find a qualified therapist who is able to assist you in finding a brace that best meets your needs. Most braces that target Arthritis are made from a neoprene material which works to warm the affected joints to allow for better movement and reduced pain. The Therall line of bracing from BSN Medical is often recommended as it has been designed specifically to aid persons with Arthritis. When choosing a brace ensure that a fitter is able to measure you for the device. Motion Specialties wants to ensure that we maintain a safe and hygienic environment. For this reason we do allow our clients to try bracing in store however for the safety of all clients bracing is not eligible for return once it leaves the store. It’s important to us that we sell you new product that has not been worn.

In all cases we recommend that a healthcare provider assists you in selecting the appropriate brace for your needs. Most braces are tax free when the purchase is accompanied by a written prescription so not only does your clinician help in choosing the right brace but in most cases a prescription allows for cost savings as well.

Seeking Medical Advice for Arthritis

If you would like to learn more about arthritis, The Arthritis Society includes some great information at the link below:

https://www.arthritis.ca/document.doc?id=338

And if you have any questions about the daily living aids discussed in this article, or would like to learn about others, call or drop into your local Motion Specialties. If you are experiencing symptoms such as joint pain or weakness, make an appointment to go see your doctor right away. Take action, ask good questions, and always strive for freedom and independence.