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Use Helpful Devices

Achy, stiff joints can make many routine tasks more difficult. Take advantage of helpful assistive tools and devices to make it easier to do all your activities -- and reduce pressure on your joints.

Canes

When sore hips and knees make walking difficult, use a cane. A cane can help relieve pressure on these joints and reduce pain while you're walking. Make sure to use it the right way, on the opposite side of your sore knee or hip.

Knee Brace

If arthritis in your knee makes walking and exercising difficult, using a knee brace may reduce pain. That way you can do more of the activities you enjoy. A brace also helps stabilize your knee, reducing your risk of a fall. Ask your doctor what kind of brace might help you and where to find the right one.

Bath Aids

It can be hard to keep your balance in the bathroom. Tub and shower rails can help keep you steady in the bath and keep you from slipping. For extra slip protection, make sure to use a non-skid bath mat. Arthritis in the hips or knees can make sitting down and standing up harder. Using a raised toilet seat in the bathroom can make it easier. For extra stability, mount a grab-rail nearby.

Kitchen Devices

If arthritis is making cooking tough, try these tips and gadgets:

* Instead of a knife, use a pizza cutter that you can hold with both hands. Or buy a rocker knife, which takes pressure off your hand and fingers.

* Use a scrubbing brush with a wide, long handle to clean dishes.

* Sit on a tall stool and rest your knees instead of standing while cooking.

* Browse Goals for Make Cooking Easy.

Driving Devices

If getting in and out of your car or driving is painful, try these devices to help:

* Invest in a keyless entry system or wrap electrical tape on your key to make the end easier to grasp and turn.

* Buy a swivel seat or beaded seat cover to help you swivel in and out of your seat. You can find these in some discount department stores or by searching for "arthritis self-help aids" online.

* Get a steering wheel cover or try a pair of golf gloves to make gripping the wheel easier.

Ease Your Pain

When your hands bother you, ask your doctor if finger or wrist splints might lessen your pain. They can reduce stress on joints and help keep them stable. Your doctor may recommend a pre-made splint or have one custom made for you.

Wash With Ease

A hard-to-wash spot like the middle of your shoulders can really pose a problem when joints are sore. Try a long-handled brush or bath mitt to help you reach everywhere without twisting and straining. You can find these at bed-and-bath stores or search online for "arthritis self-help aids."

Ergonomic Help

If you need help at the office, there are a number of devices that can make working easier. Here are just a few:

* Hands-free headset for your phone

* A footrest

* A chair with a height-adjustable lumbar support and a headrest

* A mouse with a larger clickwheel or trackball

* An adjustable keyboard tray that can raise or lower your keyboard

WebMD Medical Reference

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