Chronic illness warrior and natural health coach and advocate, Gina helps others thrive beyond the challenges of chronic illness.
There are many activities most of us don't think twice about, like getting out of bed, sitting in a car, or eating a meal. These very same activities, however, can be extremely challenging for those who live with pain or an illness like arthritis. Just the act of trying to get up out of bed can be painful. Trying to hold onto a utensil can be excruciating.
The good news is that there are plenty of tools that can make life a bit easier for those who face these challenges. Many are helpful regardless of the type of arthritis or inflammatory illness that a person has.
Both lupus and RA are autoimmune conditions that can strike people at any age, including children, teens, and young adults. These illnesses are very misunderstood, and they require strong medication to prevent joint destruction.
10 Gifts for Those With Inflammatory Illnesses
Here are 10 great gift ideas for your loved ones who may be suffering from an inflammatory illness.
- Hand Warmers
- Microwaveable Slippers
- Adaptive Key Devices
- Massage Therapies
- Voice-to-Text Technology
- Neck Wrap
- Copper Bracelet
- Ergonomic Garden Tools
- Self-Help Books
- Magazine Subscriptions
1. Hand Warmers
You may not think about how much you use your hands until symptoms of arthritis start to affect them, making the activities you once enjoyed challenging or even impossible.
Hand Warmers by Hot Hands are single use air-activated heat packs that provide everyday warmth and are ideal for keeping your hands warm when the temperature gets cold. These warmers provide safe, natural heat, so you can enjoy the great outdoors during those harsh winter months. Hot Hands Hand Warmers easily fit inside your gloves or pocket to provide long-lasting, soothing warmth.
- Ready to use
- Safe, natural heat
- Each warmer provides up to 10 hours of heat
- Made in the USA
How to Use:
Simply open the package, shake to activate, and place in pocket or gloves for maximum warmth. See package for detailed instructions.
When to Use:
Hot Hands warmers are great for any occasion where long-lasting heat is desired.
- Outdoor sports
- Hunting and fishing
- Tailgating at events
- Working in the yard
- Jogging or taking the pet for a walk
- Shopping or commuting to work
Arthritis in the Hands
Women are more likely than men to have arthritis in their hands, and often people experience arthritis symptoms in their hands before other signs of arthritis show up. Different forms of arthritis affect the hands in different ways. For example, psoriatic arthritis, a type of arthritis related to the skin condition psoriasis, is most likely to cause pain in the joints closest to the fingernails (called the distal joints), while in osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, cartilage can wear down in all the joints in the fingers and thumb. Symptoms of arthritis in the hands may include:
- Pain in some or all of the joints, including joints of the fingers, wrists, and thumbs
- The growth of bony knobs on finger joints
- Numbness in fingers
- Swollen, red, or warm joints
- Stiffness in the fingers, especially in the morning in patients who have rheumatoid arthritis
- Growth of lumps, or nodules, under the skin of the hands in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
- Fingers that look like “swollen sausages” in patients with psoriatic arthritis
- Difficulty with motions that require gripping and twisting, such as opening jars
The progression of arthritis in the hands can actually be measured. People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis lose bone density, which can be measured with bone-density scanning, while the joint damage of osteoarthritis can usually be seen on X-rays.
2. Microwaveable Slippers
Before I was diagnosed with lupus, I was diagnosed with neuropathy. Symptoms of these include numbness and pain. My feet also get very cold on occasion. These microwaveable booties, as I call them, are perfect for those suffering from neuropathy, arthritis or joint pain resulting from lupus or other inflammatory illness.
Just heat these slippers in the microwave and wear them on your achy feet to ease those aching muscles or joints for fast relief. Great for people with cold feet and poor circulation. Relax while watching TV, at the office, and anywhere you need to feel relief. You can even put them in the freezer and use them to invigorate tired feet after a long day at work.
These Microwavable Sock Slippers are great for:
- Cold feet and poor circulation
- Muscle aches and pains
- Joint aches and pains
- Relaxation and stress relief
- Relieving pain due to injured muscles
- Reducing swelling and bruises
- Promoting muscle relaxation
- HEAT: soothes sore feet; COLD: invigorates tired feet
- Microwavable and washable
- Aromatherapy: 100% natural—cinnamon, clove, and eucalyptus
- 1 size fits most
- Warm and cozy with a refreshing scent
3. Adaptable Key Devices
Opening a door is an easy task for most people, but can be a difficult task for people with arthritis. Adaptive key devices give better leverage. You can make turning keys easier with any number of adaptive devices that fit on your regular key. Hardware stores and home healthcare stores have different styles from which to choose. Be sure to try these devices first to see which works best for you. Here is a great one to try: key turner.
- Increases Leverage for turning key with minimal stress.
- Snap Over Standard Key
- Can be used in your home, Your car or almost anywhere
- Good for everyone including people with arthritis and other
- This is also good for you if you find it difficult to hold and turning keys for any reason
4. Massage Therapies
For many people with arthritis, pain is hard to manage. One tactic that can be used to fight pain, as well as the stress that comes along with it, is a soothing massage. It does not have to be a full body massage, like the abhyanga massage. It could be just your hands or legs.
Massage is something many people use to soothe sore joints and muscles, to ease anxiety or to help them sleep better, and it can lead to a significant reduction of joint pain for people who have arthritis. Massage is typically done with some form of massage oil such as this Natural massage oil.
These Pain relief massage gloves are great for those who have arthritis in the hands. The Conductive Unisex Gloves Snap-on Accessory is used with Healthmate Forever TENS EMS/PMS units, which helps with Ailments Arthritis/sports injury and can be used on right or left. Whether you’re a serious athlete or you're just suffering from some pain, this high quality Healthmate Forever conductive apparel will improve your orthopedic health!
- 8 pre-programmed massage modes: 3 standard modes: Tapping, Tuina, and Cupping.
- 5 customized modes that target shoulder, upper back, abs, lower back, hip, arms, joints, thighs, calf, ankle, and feet.
- 60 minute timer (can be used 2-3 times per day)
- 10 levels of adjustable intensity/strength
- Simultaneous dual output design, you can use “I+” button increases intensity or “I–“button decreases intensity of mode, Allows 4 pads to be used at the same time.
- Easy to read animated backlit LCD Display.
- Simultaneous dual output design.
- 10 levels of adjustable frequency, you can use “F+” button increases frequency or “F–“button decreases frequency of mode. Power by 2 AAA batteries.
- This unit comes with belt clip, which makes it portable, you can stimulate your nerves and muscles and relax your body-anytime anywhere.
- This unit is lightweight and portable
This TENS & PMS massager provides effective results. The advanced technology sends out multiple preset electrical therapeutic waves through the electrodes. These waves stimulate the combination of deep tissue pain relief techniques and various muscle movements, relieving muscle tension.
You can stimulate your nerves and muscles and relax your body-anytime anywhere; completely drug-free.
5. Voice-to-Text Technology
There is no getting around the fact that computers are an integral part of life for many of us. Whether we love them or despise them, computers help us to connect with others, find information, accomplish tasks more efficiently, and entertain ourselves.
The average American spends over two hours a day in front of the computer. All that time could add up to pain and strain, especially for those with arthritis.
People with arthritis sometimes find using the computer a challenge, because pain, limited dexterity, and mobility problems can make sitting at a desk and operating a standard mouse and keyboard difficult or impossible. Fortunately, awareness of problems like these continues to grow, and there are now a number of different assistive technology devices that can help.
For people who find it difficult to operate both a keyboard and a mouse, there is widely available speech recognition software, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking software by Nuance. To use this software, you simply speak commands into the computer. Over the years, speech recognition software has developed into a reliable method of hands-free computing for some users.
However, speech recognition software is not an appropriate alternative for people with speaking difficulties or without the cognitive ability to use the software. As well, speech recognition software is not an appropriate option where confidential content could be overheard and/or when spoken commands and dictation are likely to disrupt other people using the workspace or classroom.
This type of software provides:
- The fastest and most accurate way to interact with your computer; Dragon dramatically boosts your personal productivity and helps you realize your full potential
- A personalized, voice-driven experience; Dragon gets even more accurate as it learns the words and phrases you use the most, spelling even difficult words and proper names correctly
- An intuitive design and helpful tutorials make it easy to get started and easy to master
- The ability to create, format and edit documents by voice allows you to think out loud and break through barriers to creativity
- Dictation of text anywhere where you normally type within popular applications enables greater productivity and efficient multi-tasking
6. Neck Wrap
This Neck wrap provides numerous benefits for someone suffering from neck pain, including:
- Therapeutic microbeads hug the body for soothing comfort and relief
- Flexible, moist heat comfort that melts away stress and tension
- Can be used to provide soothing relief to a variety of areas of the body
- Can be used warm or cool - simply warm it in the microwave or cool in the freezer
- Microbeads will not attract mold and mildew
There are several inflammatory illnesses that may cause neck pain. These include cervical spondylosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Pain that may radiate into the arms
- Numbness or weakness in the arms and hands
- Numbness or weakness in the legs or feet that may lead to problems with balance
- Neck popping or neck cracking, or grinding or clicking sounds in the neck
- Muscle spasms in the neck
- Trouble sleeping
Treatment Options Include:
- Limiting neck movement, which may mean wearing a cervical collar
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other pain medication to help relieve your pain and swelling
- Physical therapy
- Heat therapy
- Ice therapy
- Exercises to improve poor posture
- Chiropractic manipulation
- Neck exercise to strengthen and stretch the cervical spine
- Neck steroid injections in some cases
- In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the spinal cord from bone spurs or a herniated disk
7. Copper bracelet
Copper is present in the human body as a mineral in trace amounts. It helps the body use iron and supports nerve function. According to the Copper Development Association, copper is essential for the following bodily functions:
- iron utilization
- nerve function
- enzyme systems
- energy production
- skin pigmentation
Copper is found in many foods, including:
- green vegetables
- beef liver
Many people say copper wristbands help ease the aches and pains of stiff and sore joints.
It is certainly true that people do say this - even scientific research provides evidence that people taking part in trials sometimes say bracelets help with their pain,....however, there is conflicting evidence.
The maker of this Copper magnetic bracelet claims that their bracelet provides
- MAGNETIC PAIN MANAGEMENT - Copper and Magnets are ideal for relief and recovery from some of the aches and symptoms associated with Arthritis. This sleek, corrective design is suitable for men, women, or anyone looking for a pain management solution.
- EFFECTIVE AND NONINVASIVE - Earth Therapy Copper Magnetic Bracelets are effective in alleviating symptoms associated with arthritis, joint pains, RSI, carpal tunnel, migraines, and fatigue. Thousands of men and women worldwide have spoken to their power as a pain management solution.
- ONE SIZE - This stylish bracelet will fit most sized wrists at 6.5" diameter. Comes packed in a luxurious velvet pouch. This makes it an easy-to-wrap, beautiful gift for every occasion.
- RARE EARTH MAGNETS - This bracelet contains 6, high-quality rare earth magnets delivering over 15,000 Gauss. Magnets that are positioned near wrist joint and tendons deliver the maximum effect for relieving pain. This bangle is solid, pure copper with a stylish, streamlined design.
- FREE EBOOK. Included in your purchase is a free, informative ebook detailing magnetic therapy, a 1 year Product warranty, and Earth Therapy’s 60 Day Full Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee.
8. Ergonomic Garden Tools
With these specially designed arthritic Ergonomic gardening tools, gardening is one hobby which arthritis sufferers can continue to enjoy.
- Complete set of four Radius Garden Ergonomic Hand Tools: includes a Trowel, Transplanter, Weeder, and Cultivator
- Ergonomic design features a patented, high performance, natural grip that minimizes hand & wrist stress while maximizing power & comfort to provides a secure grip - wet or dry
- The ultra-light polished aluminum/magnesium blades are surprisingly light and remarkably strong and have an exceptional strength to weight ratio
- Used for digging, planting, potting and weeding
- These amazing tools are so strong and durable they carry a Lifetime Guarantee, so if they ever were to break, Radius will replace them.
Ergonomic garden tools will help that avid gardener to help maintain your favorite outdoor hobby with ease and maximum joint protection.
People with arthritis are gardening with pain and already burdened joints. Garden tools that are cumbersome, whether it be because they are too heavy or the grip is inadequate, make a pleasant hobby very difficult for people with arthritis.
Gardening is a wonderful activity for someone with arthritis, or for anyone who may have lupus or swollen joint from some other inflammatory illnesses. Gardening is as close to perfect as it can be for people with physical limitations. Outdoor in the sunshine, moving and putting your body through its range of motion with the goal of growing flowers and plants that inevitably will bring you joy and boost your positive feelings -- does it get better? But, you have to be able to do it. The right garden equipment is necessary.
9. Self-Help Books
Lupus: Real Life, Real Patients, Real Talk is the first book of its kind in relation to the disease. Journalist, Lupus patient and Lupus Foundation of America Board Member, Marisa Zeppieri-Caruana, in the book set out to find men and women across the nation who shared the hurdles of daily life when battling a debilitating and cruel disease. What she discovered was a community not broken and hopeless, but one that was optimistic and refused to give in. These patients had encountered many obstacles, including:
- kidney transplants
- open-heart surgeries
- coma, and dialysis
- and more.
They share their darkest moments and their future dreams. In addition to telling their stories. They also discuss tips on:
- how to manage and deal with the disease - emotionally, spiritually and physically
- provides tangible information and inspiration for every Lupus patient and their loved ones
This book is also an essential tool for those who are newly diagnosed and trying to navigate the choppy waters of chronic illness and daily life. Even if you are not newly diagnosed, like myself, this is a very valuable piece of resource to have in your collection.
For me, life was progressing as expected. Getting sick was never part of my plan. However, when I was diagnosed, I was glad that I had resources such as this book to help me in my journey with lupus.
The Arthritis Helpbook is:
- the world's leading guide to coping with joint pain
- has been used by more than 600,000 readers
- has been in print for over twenty years
- succeeds because of its tested advice, its hundreds of useful hints
- emphasies self-management
- teaches proven techniques to reduce pain and increase dexterity
- teaches you how to build a calcium-rich diet and maintain a healthy weight
- enables you to design an exercise program that matches their needs
- provides tips and gadgets that solve common problems, big and small
- teaches you how to overcome fatigue, depression, and other troubling feelings associated with these health issues
- teaches about all available arthritis medications and surgeries
10. Magazine Subscriptions
Written by the world's top doctors and health experts, Arthritis Today is:
- written by professional health experts and doctors,
- a trustworthy and knowledgeable publication for anyone suffering from arthritis
- covers groundbreaking information on treatments, nutrition and health.
- contains tips on how to live with arthritis
- contains tips no how to remain fit
- contains tips on how to eat well
- contains tips on how to exercise properly
- highlights the various types of arthritis and the treatment methods available for each variety
- helps readers understand, manage and maintain their condition
- contains information about the newest research
- contains information on latest "walk to cure" events or other related community events
- filled with practical, hands-on advice and tried-and-true tips
- the ultimate guide for anyone who has arthritis.
Pain-Free Living magazine:
- is dedicated to helping those who suffer from arthritis
- provides information for others suffering from other illnesses like back pain, fibromyalgia, migraine and neuropathy
- provides solid, hands-on information, expert advice and practical solutions to everyday problems
- provides information on the latest medical breakthroughs to natural remedies
- offers new hope to self-reliant people who suffer from arthritis or other inflammatory illnesses
- The first print issue should arrive in 12-16 weeks.
- Control your subscription settings anytime using Amazon's Magazine Subscription Manager.
- If you purchase the auto-renewing offer, your subscription will renew at the end of the current term. Before it renews, we will send you a reminder notice stating the term and rate then in effect. Cancel anytime.
Can you think of other items to add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.
Keep watch for another list of 10 more great gift ideas for people with inflammatory illnesses.
© 2016 Gina Welds Hulse
Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on January 08, 2017:
Thanks for your feedback, Shauna. Glad you found it useful. Stephen, I will certainly check out the website, although I am certain that I have utilized its relevant information in the past.
Audrey, I am glad you found the information in this hub to be useful. I tried to have a variety of products to make it simple for those looking for ideas, rather than having to hunt in several places.
Hope the New Year is going great for you all, so far, and continued happiness and blessings.
audrey hunt on January 07, 2017:
Your articles are informative and packed full of helpful tips. And what a great idea for a hub! I'm investing in hand warmers for gloves and pockets for myself and friends. Thanks for including the "Arthritis Today" magazine.
Happy New Year!
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 15, 2016:
This is a great list, Gina. It gives options for gift-givers to come up with something creative and useful for friends and family who have mobility and/or pain issues. Thank you for posting it!
Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on December 07, 2016:
Hi RTalloni. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate) and happy Holidays!
RTalloni on December 07, 2016:
These really are great ideas for gifts to people with limitations. As baby boomers age we will see many embracing tools that will help them live fuller lives.