Do Arthritis Gloves Work?
When you suffer from osteoarthritis in your hands, everyday tasks from opening a jar to tying your shoes can cause pain and discomfort. Stiffness can add to any difficulties in performing necessary everyday tasks as well.
Even though OA is not considered an inflammatory kind of arthritis, many people display inflammatory symptoms like swelling, and your hands can feel warm to the touch.
Managing osteoarthritis of any kind requires a great deal of trial and error. Your therapies will most likely be a combination of pain relief, physical therapy, heat, rest, cold, or all of the above. It’s been my experience that if you mix and match, you can often find a combination that will work for a while before you need to seek out something new.
Arthritis gloves can offer therapeutic relief if you are looking for a new way to relieve pain and stiffness in your hands. Massaging your hands before wearing compression gloves can be a wonderful complement to your healthcare regimen. Let’s take a look at how they work, where you can find them, and what to look out for.
First Things First
Before you try any kind of treatment for OA, be sure to get a confirmed diagnosis from your general doctor or rheumatologist. Osteoarthritis is clearly visible on x-rays, and having a baseline with your doctor can help track your progress over time. Your doctor will need to know if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, as it is not recommended to wear compression gloves with that condition.
Keep track of your symptoms with an app or in a journal so you can pinpoint which therapies provide results. It won’t be an exact science, but you often will be able to see patterns in your symptoms depending on your exercise routine, diet, and weather changes. Note which days you wear the gloves, for how long, and what you noticed about your mobility and pain scale on those days.
Be sure not to feel as though you have to run out and buy the priciest pair of gloves you can find. While you are researching which kind would work best for you, try just using thin gloves around the house to get an idea.
You can get a pair online or at your local drugstore. If you use any kind of topical pain relief on your hands, you can apply it before bed, pull on the gloves and let the cream absorb while you are sleeping.
How Do Arthritis Gloves Work?
Compression gloves apply gentle pressure and add warmth to your hands, relieving soreness and improving circulation.
They provide added support that may allow you to continue an activity longer than you would without them. Some gloves provide relief with the use of heat; some are meant for more support during specific activities, like playing tennis or working with your hands.
There are different styles of gloves to choose from depending on your personal tastes, needs and budget. Many gloves provide hand and wrist support while leaving the fingertips open for easy use. Different gloves should be worn for different periods of time.
Most gloves are breathable and machine washable, but you will still want to read the product’s care directions and to keep them in the best condition possible. Be sure to check with your doctor and follow their recommendations.
The Different Types of Arthritis Gloves
- IMAK are easy to wear compression gloves that are worn past your wrist and have the open fingertip design. You can buy them in local drugstores or online, and they are not terribly expensive. They have also received the Ease of Care distinction from the Arthritis Foundation. They recognize products and companies that provide assistive tools for people living with physical limitations.
- Heated gloves can add a layer of therapy that eases pain and stiffness. Veturo therapy infrared arthritis gloves slip on easily, leaving the fingertips free, and provides support and heat simultaneously. If you wear them outside, the sun will activate the heat feature and they are kept on comfortably with a strap.
- When you need more support in your wrists than necessarily in your fingers, you can try a Grafco wrist strap. With a thumb loop for easy adjustment, this type of support is helpful for activities like typing, playing the piano or playing a sport. They do not provide heat relief
- Thermoskin gloves are ideal if you need a specific fit. These heat therapy gloves provide an adjustable strap from sizes small to XXlarge. This helps a great deal because your swelling can change at different times of the day; these allow you to adjust whenever you need to.
- Therall arthritis gloves provide all the above features in one. The heat is derived from neoprene, which absorbs body heat instead of infrared. They provide a great deal of relief because of the harmony of these features.
Wearing Arthritis Gloves
One of the things you will want to keep in mind when you are trying compression gloves is that the fit is really important. If they’re too tight, they will feel uncomfortable and no one needs to feel any more of that! Conversely, gloves that wear too loose will not provide the needed results. You can start out even with everyday gloves you have at home.
Added pressure has been known to calm down people that may be suffering from anxiety, like weighted blankets or vests. Compression gloves can provide a calming effect aside from flexibility and pain relief. I don’t know about you, but managing chronic pain makes me anxious and stressed out pretty often, so I will try anything to make my daily life easier.
If you find success with this kind of therapy, you can also look into trying arthritis socks. They do the same job if you suffer from arthritis in your feet by improving circulation, providing heat therapy and giving additional support to the joints and muscles in your feet.
Good luck on your arthritis journey!