Tips wanted for daily activities with weak or painful hands, wrists

Posted by mztrai @mztrai, Nov 28, 2021

I was recently diagnosed with lupus, multiple connective tissue disorder and also fibromyalgia. IT seems to affect my hands and my wrists terribly causing weakness and pain and so I'm finding it very difficult to do the things that you would normally do on a regular day.

Things like opening a gallon of milk or buttoning your pants or just daily hygiene becomes difficult because you can't open toothpaste or you can't open shampoo so it's very frustrating.

I know that they do take and make different container as you know that you can open and put your things in that have pumps and stuff like that but you still have the original problem. I can't get those types of things open.

So I was just wondering if anyone had any practical help on how to make those types of things easier? Some things I don't even use my hands for anymore at all you know picking up anything that's heavier than a can of Coke I might have to use my forearms I stead.

Things like grips or leverage grips to open jars don't work. I still can't open them. I have trouble with cereal boxes,, bags etc.. I use scissors for most things but even then cutting a cardboard cereal box can be difficult or impossible on some days.. I really would appreciate any tips tricks or suggestions.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Autoimmune Diseases group.

You might find help through your local County Rehabilitation Office. They could direct you to an Independent Living Center. In Illinois, ILC staff would arrange a home visit and/or send you recommendations for those tasks

REPLY

Hello @mztrai, Welcome to Connect. I struggle with opening some bottles and jars but so far I am able to use one of the rubber pad grips to help get them open. I also use scissors for some boxes. I'm wondering if you could use a utility knife that has an razor blade installed for cereal and other boxes. They are fairly inexpensive and can be found in most hardware stores. I did see a unique tool for opening bottles of varying sizes that will get you more leverage and let you use more of your wrist and arms vs just the fingers. It seems to be a little spendy for what is is but if it works it may be an answer – Arthritis Bottle Opener – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018KFII4G.

You mentioned difficulty buttoning pants. I found an inspiring video for how to do it without use of your fingers that might be helpful.

Have you looked into physical therapy to possible strengthen the hands and fingers to help?

Buttoning Pants Without Finger Function – How To | Quadriplegic (C5,C6,C7)

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@strongevergreen

You might find help through your local County Rehabilitation Office. They could direct you to an Independent Living Center. In Illinois, ILC staff would arrange a home visit and/or send you recommendations for those tasks

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I agree. The County Department of Health and Social Services should be able to tell you how to get assistance learning how to deal with your disability on a daily basis.

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If you have medical insurance, it would be helpful to call the company about your coverage for Occupational Therapy. OT is designed to help people perform tasks of daily living like you described

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@strongevergreen

If you have medical insurance, it would be helpful to call the company about your coverage for Occupational Therapy. OT is designed to help people perform tasks of daily living like you described

Jump to this post

Another option to consider is an aide or family member to come in once a week to open packages and place things in containers you can use.
Occupational therapy can also work with your doc to find appropriate strengthening activities, braces and assistive devices. There are a lot of helps out there!
Sue

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I too struggle greatly with jar and container lids. I always use rubber grips, image attached. These open jar lids and also aseptic or gable top cartons. If that doesn’t work, running a jar lid under hot water and then using the grips usually works.

You might benefit from doing an internet search. I have hand tremors and there are all sorts of tips and gadgets I’ve found.

Best wishes! Athena

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@johnbishop

Hello @mztrai, Welcome to Connect. I struggle with opening some bottles and jars but so far I am able to use one of the rubber pad grips to help get them open. I also use scissors for some boxes. I'm wondering if you could use a utility knife that has an razor blade installed for cereal and other boxes. They are fairly inexpensive and can be found in most hardware stores. I did see a unique tool for opening bottles of varying sizes that will get you more leverage and let you use more of your wrist and arms vs just the fingers. It seems to be a little spendy for what is is but if it works it may be an answer – Arthritis Bottle Opener – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018KFII4G.

You mentioned difficulty buttoning pants. I found an inspiring video for how to do it without use of your fingers that might be helpful.

Have you looked into physical therapy to possible strengthen the hands and fingers to help?

Buttoning Pants Without Finger Function – How To | Quadriplegic (C5,C6,C7)

Jump to this post

Thank you for your suggestions. I had also thought about a box cutter too. I have a similar tool as the one you shared from Amazon. It doesn't help though. I don't know if the difference is the leverage or what. I have two of these three….never mind I'm new and won't let me post a link…but anyway they are similar.

I did watch the video too. I think the rings would help alot with the zipper.

Thanks again!

REPLY
@athenalee

I too struggle greatly with jar and container lids. I always use rubber grips, image attached. These open jar lids and also aseptic or gable top cartons. If that doesn’t work, running a jar lid under hot water and then using the grips usually works.

You might benefit from doing an internet search. I have hand tremors and there are all sorts of tips and gadgets I’ve found.

Best wishes! Athena

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Ya hot water, beating them on a counter if I can…sometimes I just have to wait. I will Google and see what else I can find. Thank you!

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@astaingegerdm

I agree. The County Department of Health and Social Services should be able to tell you how to get assistance learning how to deal with your disability on a daily basis.

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Thank you!

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@sueinmn

Another option to consider is an aide or family member to come in once a week to open packages and place things in containers you can use.
Occupational therapy can also work with your doc to find appropriate strengthening activities, braces and assistive devices. There are a lot of helps out there!
Sue

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Thanks so much for the suggestions!

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@mztrai

Thank you for your suggestions. I had also thought about a box cutter too. I have a similar tool as the one you shared from Amazon. It doesn't help though. I don't know if the difference is the leverage or what. I have two of these three….never mind I'm new and won't let me post a link…but anyway they are similar.

I did watch the video too. I think the rings would help alot with the zipper.

Thanks again!

Jump to this post

@mztrai, I noticed that you wished to post a URL to a resource with your post. You will be able to add URLs to your posts in a few days. There is a brief period where new members can't post links. We do this to deter spammers and keep the community safe. Clearly the link you wanted to post is not spam. Please allow me to post it for you.

– Healthy Seniors Jar Opener Set – The Jar Opener For Seniors With Arthritis, Weak Or Rheumatoid Hands https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08LZF4Q3B/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_navT_g_W36GSBQHKX6WEASDN945

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@mztrai

Ya hot water, beating them on a counter if I can…sometimes I just have to wait. I will Google and see what else I can find. Thank you!

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Haven’t done the counter…spent too much on installing it! However, if the grippers don’t work I hit the rim of the lid with the handle end of a butter knife.

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