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How Do Arthritis Gloves Work?

Arthritis Gloves

Suffering from joint pain in your hands can make it difficult to complete even small tasks.  Could arthritis gloves help relieve some of that pain? Many arthritis sufferers believe so.  

If you are on the fence about trying gloves to help manage your joint pain, this article is for you. 

You’ll learn how arthritis gloves are designed, tips for using them, and how to know if you are a good candidate for them.  Let’s first look at how arthritis gloves work.

How Do Arthritis Gloves Help?

Not all arthritis gloves are made the same way. It will depend on the type of gloves that you choose.

The different ways that arthritis gloves help are through:
Heat – Thermal gloves use heat to help soothe joint pain. Intermittent heat has been a time-tested recommendation to help reduce arthritis pain.
Compression – Compression gloves increase blood flow and apply added pressure on the joints to alleviate soreness, mostly by reducing the amount of swelling in the area.
Splints and Wraps – Splints or wraps provide support to your aching joints and that stability can help ease joint pain. Joints that have had their cartilage worn down can benefit from the added support by limiting how much the joints can move around. Wraps may also provide a level of compression to help with swelling.
Some gloves combine more than one type of treatment, like thermal compression gloves. Both heat and compression have been shown to reduce swelling, so putting both in one pair of gloves makes sense.
The right arthritis gloves for you will depend on your comfort level and what you find soothing.
If a heating pad is your go-to comfort, thermal gloves may be a good choice, whereas if you find pressure from squeezing your hands helpful, compression might be a better choice.
You can start with the gloves you think would be most helpful based on how you’ve gotten relief from your arthritis pain previously.

Is There Any Proof?

Arthritis Gloves

Scientific proof on arthritis gloves is limited. So far, not much research has been done. 

But many users of arthritis gloves say that they have found that they have helped them, and some providers recommend them as a potential treatment option for people who spend significant time performing activities that require the use of their hands, like typing or playing tennis.
Arthritis gloves have been designed to reduce swelling, decrease joint stiffness, and help with overall hand pain so you can retain the regular use of your hands for everyday tasks.
There are limited risk factors associated with trying arthritis gloves, so if maintaining an active lifestyle is important to you, they are worth trying. 

Tips for Finding and Using Arthritis Gloves

It might take a few pairs of gloves before you find the right ones. You may find that different gloves help with different types of pain, or that one set is better for overnight use and another set is better to wear during periods of extended hand use.
Luckily, arthritis gloves are reasonably priced and you can read reviews from other users to make your decision on what options to try. You could ask your doctor or therapist for recommendations as well.
Before buying you’ll want to consider:
  • What sizes the gloves come in.
  • What material the gloves are made from.
  • What downsides other users have reported about the gloves.
Decide what makes a pair of gloves a deal-breaker for you and develop a shortlist of arthritis gloves you think are worth trying.
In addition to the above considerations, you’ll want to use your arthritis gloves so they have the best odds of providing you relief.
Arthritis gloves will also work better if you follow these tips:
  • Find gloves with the right fit. If your gloves are too loose, you won’t get much of a benefit. On the other hand, gloves that are too small will cramp your hand only causing more pain.
  • Do not wear the gloves longer than eight hours. Gloves are meant to provide relief but are not designed to be worn all the time.
  • On the opposite side, wearing the gloves sporadically for an hour or two here and there will likely not yield any results. Wear the gloves long enough for them to work.
  • Try wearing the gloves while you sleep. Some people report improved use of their hands throughout the day while wearing gloves overnight. Users have also noted that the gloves help them get better sleep.
  • If you need full use of your fingertips, find gloves that have open fingers.
  • If you are planning to wear your gloves mostly through the day, plan to get a pair of gloves that are easy to take on and off for tasks like washing your hands.
  • If you find that your hands are often sweaty, you’ll want to watch for irritation or rashes caused by trapped moisture in the gloves.
  • Always follow the directions that come with your specific gloves.
  • If at any point, your discomfort worsens, stop using the gloves immediately and consult your doctor.

Am I a Good Candidate for Arthritis Gloves?

Gloves for Arthritis

While several types of arthritis can cause hand pain, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis tend to be the biggest culprits. Anyone suffering from hand pain that has been diagnosed with an inflammatory type of arthritis may be a good candidate for arthritis gloves.

 If you are suffering from hand swelling, joint stiffness, joint pain, or a limited range of motion in your hands, you could find relief from adding gloves to your treatment regimen.

As with all types of treatment, you’ll want to consult your doctor before trying them.

Final Thoughts

Arthritis gloves are another relief option to have in your arsenal that doesn’t require taking any medication.

The gloves may use compression, heat, or added stability to help reduce joint pain in your hands. Finding the right type of arthritis gloves for you will depend on personal preference and when you intend to use them.

If you follow the tips in this article, you’ll be on your way to choosing the best gloves in no time.

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