Assistive devices and orthotics are tools that help you hold objects,
open and close things, transfer weight while shifting positions, or walk. It is
important to find a balance between use and rest of a painful (arthritic)
joint. When exercise is not enough to control pain, assistive devices and
orthotics may help to reduce stress on a joint by shifting weight off of the
joint. The Arthritis Foundation at 1-800-283-7800 or a medical supply company
may be able to help you find assistive devices.
Assistive devices should be used in combination with exercise.
A cane or crutch used on the side opposite a
painful knee or hip can help reduce stress on the joint.
splints can be used in certain situations to help decrease pain by relieving
Stools, carts, trash cans, or other objects on wheels
can be pushed rather than carried or lifted.
Doorknob extenders can
be used to open doors without twisting the doorknob.
toilet seat may be helpful, especially for a painful knee or
Molded or padded handles make objects such as keys, kitchen
gadgets, combs, or toothbrushes easier to hold.
Velcro fasteners on
clothes can replace buttons and are easier to use than small buttons or snaps.
Large pull tabs make zippers easier to hold and pull.
appliances (such as can openers, scissors, or power tools) can reduce the need
for twisting movements.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.