Community Answers

  1. Mormor says:

    I started using wrist supports long before I was thinking it was arthrrritis, I thought it was normal for the level of activity. Then a knee brace and back brace. I guess I had a lot of warning signs that I would get checked once in a while, only to be told (basically) that I don’t have arthritis, I’m just a hypochondriac. Fast forward 20 years, I do have PsA. I bought the copper infused knee, elbow, and gloves w/o finger tips. I only use the gloves, can’t keep the others in a comfortable position. I don’t know if the copper is helping at all or if it’s just the compression and warmth of the gloves, but I bring them with me everywhere, they do help with the aching fingers. The back brace also helps when I’m doing any sort of lifting or going for a walk. I started using a cane once in a while, but again, now I don’t leave home without it. That was an easier one for me because it’s made from a naturally bent piece of wood my father found and made a cane out of. He passed before I needed it, so there’s a special attatchment to it, and I get lots of compliments. I found it does help disperse the weight so my hip hurt less. I realized I do need a walker once in a while, when both hips hurt, but I am having emotional difficulty using it as much as I should, “I’m not a cripple!”, my issue. I found the walker for $22 on Craigslist.org. I also use scarves for most of the colder seasons for my neck, again the warmth helps, and it protects from the winds/breezes, and soetimes even with the A/C. I also make sureI put a pillow between my knees at night to keep my back from waking me up as much as it used to, it still does on occassion though. The latest device I have gotten is orthodic inserts for my shoes, they help some when I use them, I tend to be barefoot or in sandals in the summer, but my left foot/big toe is startingto turn sideways,so I’m trying to get myself to use shoes more.
    I hope this helps some. Getting over the fear of others’ reactions is a must. Not only will using the different devices help you feel better, it will also get those around you to realize you are in a lot of pain, and probably can’t keep up to their fast pace when walking “togetheer.”

  2. VickiN moderator says:

    Mormor, it sounds like you’re making good progress and remembering to be understanding with yourself. The orthotic inserts help me as well, and I’m definitely going to look into getting some compression aids. I hope you are well today,
    -Victoria, Community Moderator

  3. Casey moderator says:

    There are many different mobility aids and assistive devices that exists for individuals with PsA. Some examples of these include electric kitchen appliances, such as electric can-openers, adapted frames for quilting and embroidery, and canes, wheelchairs, or orthotic shoes for walking. Many more examples of these aids can be found here, https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/living-with-psa/assistive-devices/ and here https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/living/must-have-assistive-devices/

    Of course, not all devices are created equal, especially when it comes to price. For example, an electric can-open may only cost a few dollars, while a good pair of orthotic shoes or a solid walker can be much, much more. For information on affording higher priced mobility aids, you can check out this article, https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/living/tips-for-purchasing-mobility-aids-no-insurance/ There are some interesting tips in there for financing essential aids!

    Finally, when considering whether or not an assistive device is right for you, especially one that will be taken out of the house, like a cane or wheelchair, it is also important to consider and combat any emotional barriers you may have to overcome. Although it is completely acceptable to use an assistive device, for some, it may be a difficult decision to make and embrace. For more information on handling this decision and grappling with any stigmas that may come along with this, check out this article, https://psoriatic-arthritis.com/living/ghost-of-past-fears-stigma-mobility-aids/ As always, we’re here for anyone making these decisions as well! You are certainly not alone in this!

    Hopefully all of this information helps when determining if a mobility aid or assistive device is right for you! Feel free to share your experiences with buying and/or using these devices, and how they’ve impacted your life with PsA! -Casey, Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team

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