Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Group

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory, multisystem, autoimmune disorder. It is a disabling and painful condition which can lead to substantial loss of mobility due to pain and joint destruction. The disease is also systemic in that it often also affects many extra-articular tissues throughout the body including the skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and muscles... The symptoms that distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from other forms of arthritis are inflammation and soft-tissue swelling of many joints at the same time (polyarthritis). The joints are usually affected initially asymmetrically and then in a symmetrical fashion as the disease progresses. The pain generally improves with use of the affected joints, and there is...

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Sore hands and cutlery - how do u manage?

My RA hands are sore and when I hold a normal knife (for cutting dinner, etc.), the hardness of the plastic or metal really intensifies the pain in my fingers and hand.

What do other people use? Has anyone seen knives with RA friendly handles? Do you ever wrap your knife with a soft fabric or something similar so your hand is 'cushioned' as it holds the knife handle?

BTW, I have 2 arthritis type serrated knives for meal preparation made by Swedish company, Stirex. It's handle is at right-angles to the blade and great for cutting bread, fruit & vege but not so nice or manageable for sitting down at dinner time.

I'd be interested to hear your suggestions and to know how other people handle this.




The only thing I've found that works is a rocker knife with a gell handle. It looks a little weird but does help. Also, for chopping, cutting, and dicing in the kitchen I use a menzulla (mispelled)by kitchen aid. That helps alot. Just becareful with the menzulla it is wickedly sharp. I hope it works for you.

This is one problem I've not been able to solve. I simply can't cut any meat products...once I was out at a restaurant and forgot this fact, and then ended up totally embarrassed when I had to have the waitress cut my steak. Unless someone is around to cut my meat for me, I either can't eat it, or if I'm by myself I just pick it up and chomp off the bone like a caveman (I hate that!). Softer things like potatoes I can cut with a big-handled serrated knife. There are a lot of foods I've just given up on because I can't cut or peel them (like squash, corn on the cob, melons, etc.).

A food processor does help depending on what you're making, but I find that too can be hard on the hands when you have to put it together/take it apart.

Wow- I feel for you guys- I haven't had that problem since my onset flare. I used to do a wrap with an ace bandage then to give my hand more strength. I would do a couple wraps around the wrist, up and over the thumb, back around the writ and some wraps across the lower knuckles. Before I figured that out I used to stare at my dinner plate and cry. My family would be scoffing down and never realized I was incapable of doing anything with a whole piece of meat on my plate.....

They actually make a soft, larger cushioned handles that you can slide on and off your own cutlery. They are white vinyl coating black foam that you can slip on and off.

I found them a Shoppers Drug Mart (Home Health Care store - for old people) Canada. Some drug stores will carry specialty stuff like that.


RA Guy posted about a knife he uses that helps: http://www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com/2009/09/aids-to-daily-living-angled-knives/

One thing I do is get someone to help when they are around. I might get something cut hours ahead of time because that is when help is available.

BTW: I dont give up on those foods like steak that are too hard: I just eat with my fingers, as daintily as possible. Not in a restaurant tho - I get help.

Here's a page with a few suggestions on facebook:

kelly ;D

I go to the plumbing section of Lowe's or Menards and get lengths of pipe insulation. It is gray colored and comes in several lengths and a few hole sizes. I just cut the length I want and slide it onto silverware, hair brush, etc. It is a lot cheaper than the stuff made just for special use.
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