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A Holiday Season Gadget And Tools Guide for cooking with Arthritis

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Written by Joanna Spivack, OTR/L, CHT

With all the excitement that cooking, gift wrapping and holiday decorating can bring, it can also result in an exacerbation of arthritis pain in our patients. Many of our patients suffer with symptoms of arthritis. Unfortunately, arthritis is a degenerative condition, the effects of which cannot be reversed. As therapists, we can offer our patients joint protection strategies and ergonomic solutions for optimal performance of their daily living tasks.

Here are some gadgets I have recommended to my patients for use during the busy holiday season and beyond!

Jar and bottle openers can be purchased inexpensively and prevent pain from excessive force and sustained grip/pinch required to open tight containers.

Increasing the diameter of handles of small tools can help reduce arthritis pain. There are plenty of tools on the market with larger handles. For a less expensive solution for modifying items that are already in your home, consider purchasing foam tubing to wrap around handles of commonly used items. See below for this more economical option.

Rocker knife with ergonomic vertical grip design provides control while increasing downward cutting force for people with limited hand strength.

Electric can openers are increasingly available and effortlessly remove can lids with only the touch of a button, eliminating strain on grip and pinch.

Spring loaded kitchen shears create an ergonomically correct grasp for cutting and chopping. The spring loading returns the shears to the open position without having to strain the thumb into extension.

Hope these helpful tips for tools and gadgets can help ease your your patients arthritis during the busy holiday season.

Joanna Spivack, OTR/L, CHT, is a practicing occupational therapist and certified hand therapist at Professional Physical Therapy. She’s also Regional Clinical Excellence Director for the company, responsible for providing training and education to over 50 occupational therapist, COTAs and CHTs.

*This post contains affiliate links

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