The use of assistive devices such as modified kitchen tools is an important component of managing arthritis pain. Assistive devices change the way your hands function and the way you perform activities. They allow those with arthritic hands to continue to cook and spend time in the kitchen but assist them in using tools in such a way that prevents inflammation and pain. In addition to devices, minimising the amount of food preparation is helpful. Try to buy prepackaged chopped items, such as chopped garlic in a jar, or use electronic appliances instead of knives.
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Jar and can openers
Opening cans and jars is normally a two-handed activity that requires gripping and turning and twisting, all of which are uncomfortable for arthritic hands. Electric can openers and jar openers that do the gripping for you are both very helpful tools to have in the kitchen.
Suction cups on tableware
One side effect of arthritis is that you may lose a certain amount of control when handling items. It is much easier for a person with arthritis to work and eat in the kitchen if bowls, plates and other items can’t slide off the table or countertop. Many companies make tableware equipped with suction cups on the bottom that keep them from sliding around the work area or table.
Cups and glassware
A larger surface area makes it easier to hold and grip items. Look for cups that are slightly larger than the average cup or glass and for those with ridges for an easier grip. For those with severely limited use of the hands, there are cups designed to eliminate wrist motion and relieve joint pressure on the fingers. Cups, too, have special suction cups to prevent spills.
The Hand Arthritis Info Center recommends modifying handles on small, everyday items like silverware and other utensils to reduce the force put on finger joints. It is much more comfortable for arthritic hands to grip large handles than small ones. Simply wrapping a dishtowel around cooking utensils will help relieve strain. Purchase light silverware with wide handles or slide foam tubes around them to make them easier to grip.
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- Arthritis Today: Easy to Use Tools for the Kitchen
- Arthritis Supplies: Reclaim the Kitchen with Arthritic silverware, tableware and utensils.
- Hand Arthritis Info Center: Joint Protection Techniques
- MedicineNet: Hobbies Help Arthritic Hands
- WebMD: Help for Osteoarthritis: Devices for Living Easier With Arthritis