Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) comes with its challenges. The joint pain and swelling that sufferers experience can make everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning and driving, as well as recreational activities, extremely difficult.
Thankfully, there are arthritis treatments and management strategies you can implement – not to mention a wide variety of products that have been specially developed to provide relief and support. From clever, arthritis-friendly kettles to ergonomically designed gardening equipment, we’ve outlined a few of our favourites in time for Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Month.
1. Not Your Grandma’s
Founded by Hannah Hoskins, who lives with Fibromyalgia, Not Your Grandma’s is on a mission to show the world that disability is anything but boring. A brand and – above all – a community, it’s all about bringing vibrancy, fun and personality to mobility aids.
If you have RA, you’ve more than likely come across compression socks, which have the power to reduce inflammation around the joints and improve circulation. It is unlikely, however, that you’ve come across anything like Not Your Grandma’s compression socks. Ditching the drab, dreary, medical beige and grey, the business boasts a line of comfortable, on-trend socks that people actually want to wear. Space theme, dinosaur design, unicorn print – there really is something for everyone.
You can explore Not Your Grandma’s compression socks online, alongside their funky accessories and stationery. Hannah has also created a podcast series and The Handbook, which takes an in-depth look at living with disability and chronic illness, with a helping of humour.
Does your arthritis make unlocking doors difficult? Keywing could be the answer to your prayers. The product is the brainchild of London-based designer Geoff Rolandsen. Witnessing the challenges his father – who lives with deteriorating dexterity – faced on a daily basis, which included struggling to unlock his garden shed, Geoff was determined to do something to help restore independence.
Conveniently slotting onto your key, the Keywing key turner provides extra grip and control, alongside increased leverage, which makes it easier to hold and turn the key with minimal effort. This clever tool, which is backed by charity Versus Arthritis, now assists Geoff’s father and millions of others – particularly people with arthritis in fingers, weak hands, low dexterity or visual impairments.
3. Nimble One Finger Cutting Tool
Powered by UK charity Versus Arthritis, Arthr is on a mission to improve everyday living for people with arthritis. The social venture designs ergonomic, user-friendly products that help with essential tasks, comfort, personal care and wellbeing.
One of its many innovations is the Nimble One Finger Cutting Tool. Bright yellow in colour, featuring a safe blade design, it simply slides onto your finger, which makes it feel like an extension of your hand. The versatile, easy-to-use tool eliminates the need for scissors or knives, which often prove problematic for many arthritis sufferers. It can be used for everything from opening parcels and mailer bags to cutting out coupons or even wrapping presents. What’s not to love!?
4. To Better Days
Arthritis can be incredibly distressing and debilitating. If only there was a natural, fast-acting way to ease the pain… Enter our active joint patches. They’re formulated using a unique, patented combination of dextrose and vitamin D, which work together to soothe discomfort and also treat the damaged nerve, reducing the pain in the affected area over time. Just apply the patch directly where you need it and feel the benefit in as little as 30 minutes. It’s that simple.
To Better Days patches are available in two sizes – big and small. The big patches are great for your back, shoulders and knees while the small patches are perfect for small or hard-to-cover areas such as fingers, wrists and ankles. If you’re not sure which is best for you, try our trial pack, which features a combination of both sizes.
In early 2011, Andy DePetra was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis. Over time, his condition made tasks like lifting a full kettle to make a cup of coffee more and more difficult. If you have RA that affects the joints in your hands and wrists, you’ll be able to relate to this. Frustrated but inspired to find a solution, Andy turned his focus to designing a kettle that would ease the struggle and enable people to maintain their independence. This was how the Uccello Kettle was born.
A chronic condition like Rheumatoid Arthritis can take its toll on your sleep. In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, as many as 80% of people with arthritis have trouble sleeping
Valmars’ Knee Pillow is a great option to explore if you suffer from aches and pains in your hips or back. It has been designed to relieve pain and ensure that you get proper spinal alignment while you sleep. Made from high-density memory foam, the pillow offers firm support without sinking or losing its hourglass shape and can be used in multiple positions.
7. Melnor RelaxGrip
Many of us enjoy a spot of gardening, but if you’ve got arthritis, using garden tools like the hose isn’t always easy. With this front of mind, garden specialist Melnor developed RelaxGrip, a selection of nozzles and wands that are ergonomically designed to alleviate pain in the hands and wrists.
Boasting a special certification from the Arthritis Foundation for ease of use, the nozzles and wands let you control water flow, without holding your hands in awkward and uncomfortable positions. They fit a more natural grip, allowing the muscles in the hand and wrist to relax as you move around the garden.
Have you used any of these Rheumatoid Arthritis products before? Perhaps you have some suggestions of your own? We’d love to hear from you. Head over to our Facebook community page Together For Better Days to share your thoughts and explore all the latest holistic health tips.