Daily Tools for Neuropathy | ReBuilder Medical
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Daily Tools for Neuropathy

6/15/2022

tools neuropathy


When you have neuropathy, it impacts every aspect of your life.  Suddenly, what was so easy for you before, becomes a chore.  Luckily, there are tools to help you stay on top of your daily activities without neuropathy taking control!  Companies have spent decades crafting assistive devices for arthritis and fortunately, people with neuropathy can benefit from these same innovations!  This is not a complete list by any means, but hopefully it will give you a jumping off point to begin your own research.  After all, it’s always best to look at all your options to decide what assistive devices will work best for you!

Clothing

Button hook: If you find yourself struggling with unruly little buttons, button hooks can help you pull them through the buttonholes with minimal effort.

Zipper pull: Adding a zipper pull serves the dual purpose of providing a larger surface area to grip and allowing you a place to hook your finger if necessary.

Sock helpers: If you struggle putting on your socks, a sock helper can eliminate the need to bend over or pull the fabric up by hand.

Shoehorn: Shoehorns help you slip into your footwear without worrying that your heel will catch on the back.  They come in a variety of handle lengths depending on your needs.

Jewelry fastener: There are two options in this category.  For people comfortable using the standard claw fasteners, there are tools to hold one side of the bracelet/necklace in place to make fastening easier.  For those no longer able to use those small claw fasteners, there are magnetic fasteners that can be added to your jewelry for easy wearing.

grandparents cooking with granddaughters

Household Needs

Bar or lever handles: As we lose feeling in our hands, it becomes harder to grip round doorknobs and faucet handles.  The easiest solution is switching out this hardware for more accessible options like lever or bar handles.

Doorknob grips: If you have trouble keeping a grip on round doorknobs, but don’t want to switch over to lever or bar handles, consider rubber doorknob grips.  The added rubber sleeve gives you a better surface to grip so you can keep your round doorknobs without sacrificing your time to slippery metal.

Grab bars: Added to the sides of entrances and bathtubs, grab bars can give you something to grab onto if you lose your balance. A great safety feature for any home!

Loop scissors: If you suffer from numbness or pain your hands, using scissors can be difficult.  The repetitive and opposing strain can get tiring or even become painful.  Loop scissors automatically reopen after each cut, cutting your physical effort in half!

Lamp switch extensions: Let’s be honest, turning those little switches on lamps is tough, even with the strongest fingers.  Luckily, there are extensions that can be added to increase the grip area, making it much easier to turn on and off.

Wireless remote-controlled outlet: If you struggle with lamp switches, but an extension’s not your style, you could use a remote-controlled outlet.  It plugs directly into the wall and—after plugging in your lamp—allows you to use the wireless remote to turn the lamp on and off.

Cushion mat: Adding a cushioned rubber mat or a thick rug to commonly used places in the kitchen can make cooking meals less painful (especially if you suffer from neuropathy in your feet).  Cushioning your feet while you stand slicing vegetable or stirring pots can make these tasks more manageable.

Two-handled mug: There’s nothing worse than grabbing a mug and losing your grip on the handle.  Luckily, two-handled mugs pretty much eliminate this issue.  If one hand slips, the other is already holding the other handle and ready to catch the weight.  It’s the ideal solution for anyone concerned about dropping their mugs.  Because after all, there’s nothing better than wrapping your hands around a warm mug on a cozy winter day!

Jar openers: These are great tools to have in every kitchen!  No more wrestling with stubborn pickle jars or stuck jam lids.  Whether you’re looking for an electric or analogue method, there are plenty of options for you to choose from!

Ergonomic handle utensils: If you find yourself having difficulty gripping kitchen or table utensils, consider ergonomic handles!  Larger, softer handles designed to fit the contours of the hand can make a huge difference in the long run.

Kitchen mandolin: This is a great tool if using a knife has become difficult.  Instead of gripping the relatively thin handle of a knife, the kitchen mandolin sports a larger grip area, allowing you new ways to apply pressure.  They’re great multifunction tools since most mandolins come with attachments for slicing, grating, etc.  Make sure you’re purchasing a model with plenty of safety features, so your hand doesn’t slip while using it around the kitchen!

Computer

Modified ergonomic keyboard: If you find it difficult to type on a standard keyboard, have no fear!  There are multiple alternative keyboard configurations out there to try!  The most common is the ergonomic keyboard, designed with angled keys for more comfortable typing.  If that doesn’t work for you, there are plenty of other options available, so make sure to shop around for your best set-up.

Ergonomic wrist rest and mousepad: Let's be honest, typing instructors can talk until they’re blue in the face about not resting your arms on the desk while typing, but we all do it.  So why not find the happy medium with an ergonomic wrist rest and mousepad.  These plush cushions allow you to rest your arms without the discomfort of hyperextended wrists.

Mouse grips: If you find yourself having difficulty keeping hold of a mouse, then mouse grips might be the solution!  These added pads increase the friction between your fingers and the mouse, making for a more secure grip.

Vertical mouse: It you find it difficult to hold your hands palm-down for extended periods of time, the vertical mouse is a must-have!  Its vertical design allows you to use your mouse at a more natural angle than typical options.

Gardening

Gardening stool: These tools allow you to rest and keep blood circulating while gardening.  There’s a wide variety of heights available to fit your individual needs.

Kids tools: If you need to sit while gardening or doing yard work, the shorter handles of kid-sized tools can keep you from bending over (as hand tools would require) or dealing with the excessive length of a full-size tool.  The trick is making sure the quality of the tool matches your needs.

Ergonomic grips: There are tons of options for gardening tools with thicker, plusher handles or designs better fitted to the natural contours of the hand.

Long-handled tools: If you prefer to stand up while gardening, make sure you have tools with handles long enough that you don’t need to stoop over.

Senior man and woman in vintage car

Driving

Hand controls: For people with neuropathy in their feet, it can be difficult to feel the gas and brake pedals.  When this happens, most stop driving all together, but that doesn’t need to be the case!  Assistive technology in cars has grown exponentially over the decades and cars can now be outfitted with hand controls to eliminate the foot-controlled elements of driving.  However, this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly because this will completely change the way you drive.  You’ll need driving instruction from a professional to make sure you’re comfortable and safe behind the wheel.

Seatbelt handle: If you find it difficult to grab your seatbelt, try adding a seatbelt handle!  It gives you more room to grip and the shape allows you to hook it around your wrist, so grip strength isn’t a worry.

Gas cap handle: Gas caps can be hard to grip, even for the nimblest hands!  Luckily there are plenty of aids on the market to grip onto the gas cap, offering a larger handle.  No need to worry about the small, standard handle when you can use one that actually fits your hand.

Key holder: A key holder with a large handle makes it easier to maneuver small keys, whether you’re locking the front door or starting your car.  If you find yourself fumbling or dropping your keys often, then this is the tool for you!

Devices for Treatment

Squeeze balls and tension bands for hand exercises: Over the years, we’ve talked about different exercises to help with your neuropathy.  Squeeze balls and tension bands are a great way to exercise your hands through the full range of motion to limit the effects of neuropathy.

Pill cap opener: Child safe pill caps were a revolutionary invention, but unfortunately they do become a hinderance if you can’t grip them properly.  Luckily, there are devices that can extend the size of the cap so you can easily open your medication.  If that still doesn’t work for you, there are electrical versions that handle everything for you.

Parkinson’s pill bottle: If you’d prefer to skip the childproof cap all together, then this is the option for you.  It’s a new device that was collectively created by the 3D printing community in 2021 for people who struggle to pick up their pills.  It replaces to original bottle and dispenses a single pill at a time.  If you have a 3D printer of your own, this design is free to print.  But it can also be found cheap on Etsy or by contacting your local maker organization to find someone willing to print you a copy.

ReBuilder®: If you’re looking for a simpler, worth-every-penny method to eliminate your nerve pain, consider the ReBuilder®!  In just 30 minutes, the gentle electrical pulses of the ReBuilder® can reduce inflammation and retrain nerves to regain sensation and reduce pain.  If you’d like to find out more, feel free to contact us at 877-717-5487 or check our Find A Doctor page to try it for yourself!

Look out for next week’s article where we’ll discuss easy DIY methods to create some of the tools mentioned in this post!  Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss an update.

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