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4. Electric Jar Opener

It can take away some of the need to grip and twist, which helps if your hands and fingers give you trouble.

5. Wide-Barreled Pen

Does it hurt to use a normal pen? Try one with a wide barrel. It'll be easier to hold. You can also put inexpensive rubber grips over standard pens and pencils to make them easier to grip.

6. Cane

If you feel unsteady on your feet, a cane can get you out of your chair and help you move with more confidence, Ruffing says.

Ask a physical therapist for advice before you buy one. And make sure you know how to use the cane right. (Many people don’t.) For instance, you should always hold it in the hand opposite the joint that hurts. So if your left knee aches, use the cane on your right side. Your PT can give you other tips.

7. Elastic Shoelaces

You don't need to replace all your lace-ups with slip-ons. Try elastic laces instead.

"They look like a regular pair of laces," McCabe says. "But because they're elastic, you can tie them once and then just slip the shoes on and off after that."

8. Dictation software

If you use a computer a lot, the keyboard can make your fingers and wrists ache. Give your hands a rest. Use your voice instead.

"Dictation software has become very accurate," Frost says. It helps you control your computer, surf the web, and dictate emails. Some programs cost less than $60. And most new computers come with built-in voice recognition.

Ask an Occupational Therapist

There's likely a tool or tools out there that can help you, whatever your RA symptoms are.

To find out what's available, see an occupational therapist who works with people with RA. The therapist can come to your home or office and suggest measures or devices that will fit your needs. Ask your doctor for a referral.

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