7 Gifts To Put On Your Wish List If Living With Joint Pain
The nights are long, the air is cold and the shops are filled with tinsel: Christmas is officially coming! One of the many aspects of Christmas you might need to think about is presents - both giving and receiving them. Christmas gifts were so simple when we were children, but now it can be stressful to think about what you want to put on your wish list.
Living with arthritis is challenging all year around, but some people find that their symptoms feel worse in the colder months. Luckily there are things that can help make your life easier. This Christmas, why not focus on gifts that could help improve your quality of life? From kitchen gadgets to arthritis creams, read on for our tips on what to put on your wish list if you have arthritis.
1. Kitchen gadgets
Cooking can be difficult when you’re dealing with joint pain, as a lot of utensils require wrist and hand movements that can cause strain that leads to lasting pain. Luckily there are gadgets which can do some or most of the work for you!
“Arthritis can make even simple tasks like opening jars painful and difficult,” says Cara Dobbertin, PT, DPT with Practitionr. “Jar openers are designed to give you more leverage, reducing the amount of force you need to apply and therefore easing the strain on your joints.”
Some other ideas include:
- Hands free boiled egg peelers to save your wrists some trouble
- Non-slip easy grip vegetable peelers
- Non-slip ergonomic mashers
- Non-slip ergonomic cutlery sets
- Ergonomic chopping knives designed to make cutting easier
- Ergonomic mugs with large contoured handles
- Silicone oven mitts which can help support you in taking things out of the oven
- Compression arthritis gloves which can improve circulation and decrease pain
- Compact hot water urns which you can simply put your cup under and press to release hot water
- Electric can openers which you can pop on the can and turn on
- Electric wine openers can be really helpful for parties - or Christmas dinner!
These are just some of the kitchen gadgets that can help you navigate cooking when you have arthritis.
2. Dressing aids
Being able to live independently and take care of yourself is so important for self esteem and mental well being. The act of dressing yourself isn’t something many people give a second thought to, but if you’re dealing with chronic pain then it can become taxing. If this is something you experience, investing in gadgets that can take some of the pressure off your joints to make getting dressed and undressed easier can help.
“For someone with fine motor difficulties due to arthritis, buttoning a shirt can be a difficult task,” says Cara Dobbertin. “A button hook lessens the amount of dexterity needed and acts as an extension of your fingers to assist with dressing. Arthritis can often limit the range of motion in your hips and lower back, making bending down to put on your shoes very painful. A long-handled shoe horn makes it easier to put on your shoes without putting extra stress on your back or hips.”
Other dressing aid options include:
- Sock sliders. You can put your sock or tights on the appliance’s slip resistant cuff and then use adjustable handles on either side to pull it up your foot or leg
- Shoes and clothes with velcro rather than laces or zips
- Fastening aids which can help you put your jewellery on
3. Arthritis friendly cleaning gadgets
Cleaning the house isn’t many people’s idea of a good time, but when you have arthritis it isn’t just a chore - it can feel impossible. You deserve to live in a clean house that it feels good to be in, so this Christmas why not ask for some arthritis friendly cleaning tools to help you out? Some cleaning aids you might be interested in include:
Long handed dustpans and brooms that can make it possible for you to sweep standing upright without having to bend down, which can decrease the strain on your lower back and knee
Dusters with extendable handles that can help you remove dust without over stretching your arms
Mops and brooms with gripped handles that can be easier to use
When you have to kneel and scrub, a thick kneeling mat can cushion your knees to make it more comfortable.
We may not have robotic servants just yet, but there are robots that can do your hoovering for you! “Pushing around a vacuum cleaner can feel like a mini workout which can exacerbate arthritis symptoms,” says Cara Dobbertin. “A robotic vacuum can save your arms and back from unnecessary stress while conserving your energy for things you really enjoy.”
4. Home office essentials
Working from home can be a godsend when you’re having a flare up, but wherever you are, the sedentary lifestyle can take its toll on your joints. If you spend a lot of time working or studying at home, these home office essential gifts for people with arthritis may be a good choice for you.
You can also customise your chair and computer to make them more arthritis friendly. “Ergonomic chairs offer settings to provide adjustable support, encouraging good posture and thereby reducing stress on your back and hips. Traditional mice and keyboards are not designed with joint health in mind. Ergonomic versions, however, place your hand in a more natural position, reducing strain on your wrist and fingers, which can be particularly helpful for those with arthritis.”
Other home office related gift ideas to consider are:
- Compression gloves which can help reduce swelling and improve circulation in the hands - which can really help if you spend your days typing.
- Ergonomic pens to make manual writing more comfortable.
- Portable sitting wedges and memory foam spine support which can be helpful if you have arthritis in the hips.
- Writing boards that can help you make sure you’re in physical alignment when reading and writing, and save you putting pressure on wrists and fingers.
- If you want the option of standing when you work without committing to it full time, consider asking for an adjustable desk.
5. Smart tech
Our world is getting more futuristic, and while that can be scary there’s no denying that some things are much easier than they used to be! Smart tech can be incredibly helpful when you have arthritis, so consider whether smart tech could be a good gift for you. Some options to consider are:
Voice activated speakers which can play you music, search the internet, tell you the news, and even call people for you.
Smart watches that can track various aspects of your health, such as your heart rate, blood pressure and how many steps you’ve done. They can remind you when it’s time to stand up, monitor the quality of your sleep and remind you when to take your medication.
Smart locks that can save your fingers a lot of pain by letting you lock and unlock your door using your smartphone. You also never need to worry about losing your keys!
These are just some of many new technological innovations which you can add to your home to make it easier to control with less physical effort.
6. Gifts for comfort and pain relief
There are many gift options out there which can help relieve arthritic pain in different ways. “Proper physical alignment is crucial when you have arthritis to reduce discomfort,” says Cara Dobbertin. “Orthopaedic pillows and cushions are designed to provide optimum support to your neck, back, and hips, thus reducing stress on your joints.” Other options include:
A heated blanket to help soothe your sore muscles and joints, and provide glorious warmth on a cold winter day
A gift certificate for a massage to relieve stress and tension in the body
Electric massagers available which can be used on your back and shoulders, feet, hands and so on
Acupuncture therapy balls and mats. Acupuncture may help release muscle tension and improve circulation, and you can get spike covered balls (for your hands) and mats to use in the comfort of your own home.
Heating pads may help soothe sore muscles and joints. You can also get gel ice packs and wraps which can be popped in the microwave or freezer to give you hot or cold therapy
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention FlexiSEQ. FlexiSEQ is a drug-free, topically applied gel which is clinically proven to help ease the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis. The pain from osteoarthritis comes from the cartilage, which is a firm, slippery tissue that helps cushion where bones meet joints so that they don’t rub together. When the cartilage wears down and becomes brittle, the joint isn’t as cushioned as it was and bone can start rubbing on bone, leading to pain, inflammation and loss of mobility.
FlexiSEQ can help alleviate some of this pain through a unique active ingredient called Sequessome Technology, or SEQ Technology. Tiny Sequessome vesicles travel through the skin - never entering the bloodstream - to reach the cartilage in the joints. Once they get there, they form a lubricating layer over the damaged cartilage which allows the joint to move more freely, with less pain and stiffness.
If you’ve got a generous family member you could ask them for a FlexiSEQ subscription from Amazon. A monthly tube will then arrive until further notice, helping you improve your quality of life during winter and beyond.
What will you be asking for this Christmas? Let us know on Facebook.