Heating pad radiating waves of heat

The Most Helpful Tools and Devices to Help with Psoriatic Arthritis

Getting through the day can be hard when you’re dealing with psoriatic arthritis. Every task and chore can take a little longer and cause a little more discomfort or pain.

You are certainly not alone in your experiences.

To open up a conversation about the tips and tricks that are helping you live a comfortable life, we reached out to the Psoriatic-Arthritis.com community, asking, “What’s one helpful tool or device you use to help with daily life with PsA?”

Almost 100 of you responded, and here’s what you had to say.

Using heat to help with flares

The top answer given by so many of you was heat. Heat can relax muscles, reduce swelling and relieve joint pain. Besides which, heating pads, electric blankets, and even regular blankets all provide bodily comfort.

  • “Heating pad.”
  • “I snuggle under covers to keep warm. I use heat.”
  • “My electric blanket.”
  • “Sauna for after doing PT exercises.”
  • “Heat pads and blankets!”

Using ice for inflammation and swelling

When flare-ups or pain are occurring, ice is what many of you turn to for numbing. Ice is such a go-to tool and many of you keep the packs in the freezer at all times, ready to go.

  • “Ice packs for the pain.”
  • “I use ice packs for the pain.”
  • “Lots of rest, ice packs and massages.”

Compression gloves for helping with circulation

Another go-to mentioned by the community was compression gloves, which increase circulation, reduce pain and increase circulation. Some of you found them helpful to wear during the workday, whereas others of you preferred to reap the benefits of wearing them at night. Either way, whatever works for you is best.

  • “A hand brace or compression glove on some days.”
  • “Compression gloves at work are a lifesaver!”
  • “Compression gloves at night.”

Topical muscle creams and rubs

Topicals, topicals, topicals. You named muscle creams such as Bengay, as well as magnesium creams and THC creams. Rubbing in pain-relievers is an excellent way to feel better fast, and they’re a cheap, easy solution that you can bring with you anywhere (or keep in the car or wherever).

  • “Muscle rubs.”
  • “A roll-on magnesium muscle rub. Not only does it stop the muscle spasm, the pain vanishes and doesn’t return. Found it works just as good on the ribs and the back spasms, knees, ankles.”
  • “Topical pain relievers.”
  • “THC lotion.”

Seating modifications

Why stand if you have to? Several in the community shared that seating helps in the kitchen, bathroom and other places where you’re otherwise spending a lot of time standing. Shower benches, in particular, can help to avoid any unnecessary falls on slippery shower floors.

  • “Keeping a high stool in my kitchen so I can sit while cooking if needed.”
  • “Shower bench.”
  • “Grab bars in the bathroom.”

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Adding in grab bars

Some of you mentioned that you need even more physical support when it comes to bathing, and you’ve installed grab bars for the tub or shower. Even if you don’t 100% need grab-bars, they’re a great choice in helping keep added stress off your legs, and provide mental security of knowing you’re steadier just by having them as an option.

  • “Tub-to-shower conversion when I couldn’t get in and out of the tub/shower anymore. New shower also has a grab bar, and is roll-in capable for when I get to that point. I also recommend a handheld nozzle for now.”
  • “Grab bars in the bathroom.”

Household tools

For many of you, it’s actual tools that provide the greatest help— from scissors around the house to pliers to help open things. Electric can openers and grabber sticks can also help you get through your daily activities will less exertion.

  • “I also keep a pair of pliers in the kitchen for opening zip-locked bags and packages of bacon. It’s too hard for me to grip the plastic and pull open with my fingers.”
  • “Electric can opener.”
  • “A pair of pliers.”
  • “Scissors. I have a pair in every room.”
  • “Grabbing stick.”

Making home modifications

A home with zero steps can make life easier every day. Keep in mind it is possible to remodel your existing home in some cases to remove steps up. Not all contractors will take on these projects, but some understand the value of making the conversion.

  • “We have decided to move to a zero-entry house. This should hopefully help to keep the walker at bay for a few more years.”

Pets who provide support

It’s always a comfort to have an animal for company, comfort and emotional support. They can bring us joy throughout the day. Plus, dogs provide the benefit of reminding us that we need a little daily exercise, which they prefer in the form of a walk.

  • “My dog. I don’t know what I will do without her.”
  • “Definitely having an emotional support animal. Thought I’d never get a cat again but, I was very lucky! He follows me everywhere. Hadn’t realized how much I needed him.”
  • “Definitely my dogs. They make me walk even when I feel off. Plus, they provide unconditional love.”

We want to say a heartfelt thank you to the Psoriatic-Arthritis.com community for opening up and sharing so much of your tips with your fellow members.

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