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Assistive Devices and Orthotics

Overview

An assistive device is a tool or piece of equipment that helps make a task easier. These tools can help you hold objects, open and close things, or walk.

They can help when the pain and stiffness from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis make it hard for you to do your daily tasks. For example, you may find it hard to type or to open and close a door. Or it may be hard to go up and down stairs or get in and out of a chair.

These tools include:

  • Canes and crutches.
  • Braces and splints.
  • Stools, carts, trash cans, and other objects on wheels.
  • Doorknob extenders that can be used to open doors without twisting the doorknob.
  • An elevated toilet seat.
  • Molded or padded handles on objects like keys or kitchen gadgets.
  • Velcro fasteners on clothes to replace buttons.
  • Electrical appliances, such as can openers, that can reduce the need for twisting movements.

Credits

Current as of: March 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Joan Rigg PT, OCS - Physical Therapy

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