Advice from Dr. Arthritis: Handy Tools for Elbow Arthritis

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Next up in our handy tools series, we wanted to find the best aids you can use to manage elbow pain.

Elbow arthritis is typically caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune condition, which gradually destroys the bones and soft tissues of your joints. But osteoarthritis, where pain is caused by the gradual wear and tear of joints is also a common cause for elbow pain.

In its early stages, cutting back on strenuous, repetitive use of the joint can greatly help alleviate stress on your elbow. But over time, you’ll need more aids and tools to help you manage pain and assist with movement.

Here are some that tops our list:

1. Arm Rest Raisers

Make sure that your elbows are at the same level as your table and keyboard. Make sure that your forearms are parallel to the floor. This is especially important if you spend a lot of time typing behind a computer.

Try Jumbo Memory Foam Elbow Pillow to elevate your arms and provide ample cushion rest and relieve elbow pain.

2. Reaching Tools

Constantly reaching up or down can add unnecessary stress on your elbow joints. Give your elbow a rest by keeping a reaching tool handy and ready for use anytime around the house.

Try Ettore 49036 Grip ‘n Grab Reach Tool—a multi-purpose 36-inch reaching aid, which you can use inside or outside the house. It’s lightweight, making it very easy to use, and features a comfort grip that minimizes repetitive motion fatigue.

3. Braces and Compression Sleeves

Additional support is essential for managing elbow pain, especially if you want to maintain independence and quality of life. Compression sleeves are discreet options that help facilitate healthy blood flow to the affected area, while braces provide more robust support.

Our line of sleeves and braces are not only doctor developed to provide pain relief, we also pride ourselves for offering world-class customer care. This is essential given that finding the right fit is critical to its efficacy—which involves a lot of trial and error. A reliable brand with top-notch customer service means you can easily coordinate to find the right size and product for your needs.

4. Ergonomic Keyboard

Typing is such an inherent part our daily lives that we fail to recognize it as a culprit for chronic joint pain.  Fact is however, we place our hands and arms in unnatural positions for extended periods of time when we type that even healthy joints are likely to feel the strain. You can only imagine how much worse it will feel if you suffer from arthritis of the elbow.

Apart from taking frequent typing breaks to rest and stretch your arms and fingers, the easiest way to manage this is by using an ergonomic keyboard. The Kinesis Advantage 2 is popular among arthritis sufferers. Granted it takes a little getting used to, and it’s a little pricier than other options available, but given how often we use our computers, it’s actually a pretty good investment.

5. Hot and Cold Compress

To soothe stiff joints, apply warm compress on the affected area. Heat will enhance circulation to the joint and increase blood flow to aching joints and muscles. For more acute pain, apply cold compress. It will help restrict blood vessels, slow circulation and reduce swelling, which will help dull the pain.

For an all in one solution, try this Pain Relief Gel Ice Pack.  It comes with a 1 piece wrap that you can secure on your elbow, a microwaveable heating pack and a gel ice pack.  

If you suffer from arthritis of the elbow and know of any more tools that have helped you manage your pain, maintain independence, and improve your quality of life, leave a comment and tell us all about it below.

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