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arthritis gloves

What are Arthritis Gloves and Do They Really Work?

Arthritis can be a serious issue for a lot of seniors. It can affect almost any joint in the body, making it painful and hard to move. Most commonly, it affects seniors’ hands which can interfere with many of the chores of daily living. There is no cure for arthritis, though there are a number of treatments that work to varying degrees. One possible treatment is arthritis gloves. If you or your senior wants to try this option, I’ve created this guide to arthritis gloves so you can work out if they’re right for you.

What are Arthritis Gloves?

Arthritis gloves are a type of compression glove made of a tight, stretchy material. They are designed to reduce swelling and pain and improve the mobility of the hand. They are not a cure for arthritis, but are alongside other arthritis treatments and home remedies to provide extra relief.

There are a few different types of arthritis gloves depending on your budget. Some are designed just for the wrists, while others cover the hand and fingers completely. You can even buy heated gloves that use infrared light on the affected area. There are also gloves that give extra support, called glove splints. You should always consult with your doctor before you buy any type of arthritis gloves as they can be expensive. Your doctor will be able to advise you on what’s best for your condition and budget.

How Do They Work?

People with arthritis in their hands often suffer from pain and inflammation. They usually have trouble moving the associated joints, and have to give up many favorite activities because of the condition. Arthritis gloves work by providing mild compression to the hands, which decreases swelling and stiffness. People with arthritis often complain that their condition is worse in the cold, and arthritis gloves help with that too. The hands are kept warmer by the thick material of the gloves, and also by the associated improvement in circulation. The improved circulation also helps to reduce swelling as well.

glove making the ok sign

Do Arthritis Gloves Work?

Most people report that arthritis gloves do help with the pain and swelling associated with this condition. However, the amount they help is highly individual and dependent on how you use the gloves and your own physical condition. Arthritis gloves may help with all or some of the symptoms associated with arthritis including pain, swelling and the puffiness of your hands. What they will not do is return your hands to normal. No matter which gloves you get, you will not be able to regain all of your dexterity. However, they may ease your symptoms a little and improve your grip, making it easier for you to do daily tasks. There are also no side effects to the gloves, so you can try them without concern.

Choosing Arthritis Gloves

When choosing gloves, there are a number of factors you should keep in mind. These include:

  • The price and your budget. Arthritis gloves can be expensive, but the more expensive ones have extra features that might help. Try to buy the best gloves possible within your budget for a good result. 
  • The fit of the gloves. They should be fairly tight, but not too tight. Get a professional to check them if you’re unsure. 
  • What you want the gloves for. Fingerless gloves are available if you want to use them to do chores. Just make sure you wear them for at least 8 hours at a time and that the gloves still cover your finger joints if you have arthritis in them. If you intend to sleep in them, and many do, choose full hand gloves for best effect. 
  • The weather. If you live in a hot area, don’t buy gloves made of thick material for obvious reasons. 
  • Extra features. Some gloves emit warming light, others are made of a stiffer material to provide support. Choose your gloves according to your needs.
gloves making a heart

Which Arthritis Gloves Work Best?

Generally speaking, the more expensive arthritis gloves work best, but consult your doctor to get recommendations for your condition. There are several different types of gloves for use in different situations. They are as follows:

  • Thermal arthritis gloves. These are full hand gloves that are best for sleeping in. They’re made of a thick thermal material and will keep your hands warm and comfortable throughout the night. 
  • Arthritis glove splints. These work best if you have weakness in your hands and need extra support and protection. They can protect your hands but will also restrict your movements quite severely. 
  • Arthritis compression gloves. These gloves are all about the tight fit to improve circulation. The material is tight but stretchy and you need to get a good fit to avoid pain. 
  • Fingerless gloves. These can be worn during the day, but because the fingers are partly exposed these gloves don’t work as well as some other options.

Final Thoughts

Arthritis is a serious complaint for many seniors. It affects their quality of life and their ability to perform everyday tasks. There are many home remedies and even medical ways to treat arthritis. But, many of them don’t completely alleviate the pain or stiffness. That’s why there’s also a number of options that can be used on top of medical treatments.​

Arthritis gloves are just one of these additional treatments. Whether they help or not seems to be dependent on the individual’s condition and situation. Try wearing them at times of heavy hand use like when working on a computer or cooking in the kitchen. With this guide, you can decide if the potential benefits make them worth trying.

Have you ever tried arthritis gloves for hand pain? What type of gloves did you try? How did they work for you? Please share your opinions and experience with the readers in the comments below!

About the Author Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.

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