Patient Blogs | Psoriatic Arthritis
My Favorite Gadgets
photo of man using shoe horn

Psoriatic arthritis can cause swelling and impairment on any number of joints in the body.  The impairment affects range of motion, flexibility, and strength.  Here are some gadgets that I have found most useful, listed by body part:

Hands

  • Due to deformities, I tend to type with only two fingers on each of my left and right hands.  I use a computer keyboard with large keys and a mousepad.
  • Because brushing my teeth is difficult and flossing is impossible, I use an electric toothbrush with built-in water flosser.
  • I cut my fingernails with a long-handled toenail cutter for better leverage.
  • I use a long-handled shoehorn, and I pre-tie my shoes or use Velcro closures on my casual shoes.
  • I use a long-handled shower brush to access my legs and back.
  • I use a scrubber to shampoo my hair.
  • I use a long-handled bottle and jar opener.
  • I use a serrated steak knife to cut meat.
  • When necessary, I wear a wrist band to lessen the pain.
  • I use a retractable box cutter to open packages (especially helpful during the pandemic isolation).
  • Whenever I need to use a screwdriver, I use a battery-operated screwdriver, which also can serve as a drill.
  • I use an electric razor (but I must admit that after my shoulder surgery, I let my beard grow in, and since no one objected, I have let it continue).

Feet

  • I use a customized orthotic device to protect my metatarsal arches.
  • I wear shoes that are cushioned on the bottom and with a wide and deep toe box to accommodate my orthotic device.
  • I wear pool shoes to cushion my feet in the swimming pool.  [I always use steps to walk into a pool.]

Neck

  • My car has a back-up camera with a signal if there is any traffic behind me.
  • The car also has light and sound indicators when a car is in my blind spot on either side.
  • My car has voice-activated navigation and telephone systems.
  • My car has a cup holder for my iPhone.
  • I have a special pillow for nighttime.
  • I use an ergonomic desk chair.

Hips and Knees

  • When I am uneasy as to my balance or endurance, I use a walking cane with three rubber feet, or an upright walker.
  • In the shower and toilet, we have grab bars for stability.
  • We have elevated toilet seats for ease of access.
  • I have a step-in shower, with a cushioned floor mat.
  • I try to sit in chairs with arms, so I can use my arms to assist me in standing up if necessary.
  • I have a stationary bicycle for home exercise.
  • I use a hyper-volt device for pulsating massage gun around my painful joints.
  • I have ice packs and TENS units for pain management.

 

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Photo Credit: Andrew Walsh / EyeEm via Getty Images

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Richard Seiden

Richard Seiden

Diagnosed since 1976

Richard Seiden has lived with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis for 50 years. A retired attorney whose practice focused on representing providers in the health care industry, he is spending retirement as a board or panel member on several nonprofit health care organizations and a National Institutes of Health panel. In addition, he is a patient advocate and educational resource for other patients based on his disease experience. He is also a longtime board member of the National Psoriasis Foundation. He lives in Southern California.
 

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