Assistive Devices Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

  • Devices at Your Service
    When you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), everyday activities like cooking and cleaning may be painful or more difficult to do. Fortunately, assistive devices can make it easier to get the job done.

  • Get dressed with less stress.
    Clothing often has small parts that are challenging to manipulate with RA. Zipper pulls and buttoning aids can help. Reach for a shoehorn to help you slide into shoes without bending over.

  • Slip in shoe inserts.
    Many people with RA experience foot discomfort as well as issues like hammertoes and bunions. Orthotics are shoe inserts that redistribute your weight and provide cushioning so you feel less pain and pressure in your feet.

  • Support your fingers with splints.
    If RA makes it tough to straighten your finger joints or causes other deformities, ring splints can help. Wearing ring splints on your fingers can prevent hyperextension or straighten a joint that you can't extend on your own. Stabilizing your fingers can help improve function, prevent deformities, and avoid serious injuries.

  • Brace your joints.
    Splints and braces support different joints. A wrist splint can be helpful at night if you experience carpal tunnel syndrome. It keeps the wrist in one position, relieves tingling and numbness, and helps the wrist rest while you sleep. An ankle brace can help with pain in the back of your foot or ankle.

  • Go easy on your knees.
    Kneeling when cleaning your floors, cabinets or a tub can be painful. Wear kneepads or cushion your knees with a soft object, such as a folded towel, to help relieve the pressure.

  • Reach higher with special tools.
    Reaching for objects that are high up can cause pain, strain or injury. Keep a wand or pole with extended handles and a gripping feature handy. Use it to grab items that are out of your reach.

  • Get a grip in the kitchen.
    Look for devices that help take the pain out of cooking. For instance, opt for an electric can opener over a manual one. Rely on a food processor or mandolin for chopping and slicing instead of a knife. Use kitchen tools with thick handles and grips because they're easier to grasp and put less stress on your finger joints.

Assistive Devices Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (;
  2. Smart Moves for Safe Cleaning, Arthritis Foundation (;
  3. Self-Help Arthritis Devices, Arthritis Foundation (;
  4. Feet Hurt? Slip in Some Relief with Shoe Inserts, Arthritis Foundation (;
  5. Finger Joint Support, Arthritis Foundation (;
  6. Ways to Prevent Pain and Get Around, Arthritis Foundation (;
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Last Review Date: 2018 May 14
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