Dealing with Stiff Fingers: Assistive Devices for People with Psoriatic Arthritis
One of the known symptoms of psoriatic arthritis is joint pain and stiffness of the digits - our hands and fingers. Before I sought a diagnosis a few years back, one of my breaking points was when I was in the middle of studying and I couldn’t put back the lid of my highlighter.
How to help your stiff fingers...
As a chronically ill person, I know how frustrating it is to have to ask for help, even when it comes to the simplest tasks. Mobility and assistive devices are helpful in such a way that we are capable of doing things on our own and we do not have to rely on others so much.
In this article, I am sharing a few assistive devices that I personally use to help deal with joint stiffness and how not to let it affect your daily life.
Functional splint for the wrist and compression gloves
Splints and compression gloves are useful to provide support for those who are experiencing wrist instability. Looking for the perfect glove is definitely a hit or miss, but you have to determine which one would make it easier for you to move your hand around without feeling discomfort.
Make sure that the fabric is also breathable to help increase circulation and to ease inflammation.
Soft grip covers
These are rubber-like covers that come in various shapes and sizes and can be used in different tools such as pencils, pens, toothbrushes, utensils, or even doorknobs. An additional function of these soft grip covers is that they are also non-slip which makes it easier to grasp and get a hold of things.
Voice recognition software
Thanks to technology, communication, and computer-related tasks are now easier to navigate through the use of dictation and speech-to-text applications. The function of which is to transcribe and convert your voice to text on the screen in real-time.
Applications like this are also helpful to students and employees because it is now easier to to take notes of lectures and meetings. You can just record the session and have the application transcribe it for you instead of having to write down everything.
Although dressing up is such an easy task, we cannot say the same for us who are dealing with a chronic illness. Dressing aids are tools that are specifically designed to help put on clothes.
Some of these are dressing sticks, sock aids, button hooks, and fasteners as well as zipper pulls.
Arthritis friendly kitchen tools and appliances
PsA can be a burden in cooking and meal preparation. Luckily, there are tools and appliances such as grip wrenches and electric can and jar openers, kitchen tools, and slicers available in the market which can make our lives a whole lot easier.
Aside from tools that help in chopping meat, fruits, and vegetables, it is also wise to invest in blenders and mixers that would minimize the ache of kitchen work. These devices may be costly, but at the same time, I consider these both an investment and a necessity.
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