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16 Comforting Gift Ideas For A Friend With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Living with the pain of rheumatoid arthritis is tough to say the least so make a loved ones life a little easier with one of these thoughtful gifts.

Gift ideas for rheumatoid arthritis

Buying gifts for your friends and family is always a bit of minefield.

As while it feels good to be doing something nice for them, it can also be so hard to figure out what they really want or need.

And the last thing you want is to get them something that they're just going to toss into a cupboard and never use.

So how can you work out what to get them?

Well a novel idea is to get them something that can really help to improve their lives.

Because if you asked someone living with rheumatoid arthritis what their ideal gift would be they would more than likely say a day without the crushing pain.

And while you can't miraculously gift them that, you can get them something that will ease their pain and make their day a bit brighter.

So while the thought of buying someone a gift that will help to relieve their pain isn't the sexiest of ideas.

It could be the gift that keeps on giving and turn out to be the best gift they could hope to receive.

So Which Items Are Helpful For People With Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Which items are helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects around 1.5 million people in the United States and causes painful inflammation, stiffness and swelling in the joints.

These problems are felt mainly in the hands, wrists, feet, elbows, knees and ankles.

And they can make ordinary everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning or even putting your shoes and socks on a real struggle.

So when looking for gifts for a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer you want to choose something that can:

  • Make things easier by assisting them in going about their daily life.
  • Alternatively, something that can apply heat to their joints and tissues to deliver some much needed pain relief for chronically stiff and sore joints.
  • Or something that can cool down their joints to reduce swelling and inflammation during a flare.

So I've included a selection of items that cover all of these things in the list of gift ideas below.

Something To Consider Beforehand

Before going ahead and buying one of these gifts for your loved one you need to ask yourself one question:

"Will receiving this gift upset them?"

Because while your gift may be given with the best of intentions, it might actually make them feel sad to be receiving a gift that relates to their pain.

As it can feel like you are defining them by their illness.

So you really need to understand how a person will react before giving them a gift along these lines.

But if you are sure they'll be fine with it then they will also be gifts that they'll adore getting from you.

As the kindness and thoughtfulness behind it will shine through.

So if you have a friend or loved one who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis the following gift ideas are all items that they might appreciate receiving.

These all have their own unique uses and benefits, so you are sure to find something that your loved one will appreciate.

So let's start with an essential item for anyone with rheumatoid arthritis which is a pair of compression gloves.

A Pair Of Compression Gloves

Wearing a pair of compression gloves is a great way of relieving aches, pains and stiffness in the hands and fingers.

As the mild compression you get while wearing them brings a soothing warmth to your joints.

While also increasing circulation which helps to deliver the oxygen and nutrients your joints and tissues need to heal, repair and stay healthy.

This compression can also help in reducing swelling in the hands and fingers which is so common in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

So a pair of these gloves makes a fantastic gift for any arthritis sufferer and the ones I'd recommend are the IMAK Compression Gloves.

As these are the only ones to have been given an ease of use commendation by the Arthritis Foundation.

And they are lightweight and really comfortable to wear, which is important if you are keeping them on for hours at a time.

Plus the finger-less construction means you can get on with you daily tasks and activities with minimal fuss.

So they're also great for encouraging a loved one to continue with the hobbies and activities they enjoy in spite of their arthritic pain and stiffness.

A Heating Pad For Pain Relief

Applying heat to painful joints is a great way for someone to tackle and manage chronic rheumatoid arthritis pain.

As this heat can reduce stiffness in sore joints and stimulate circulation which promotes faster healing.

It also feels comforting too which can relax you mentally, lower your stress levels, and encourage the release of endorphins which are the body's natural painkiller.

And it's for this reason that most rheumatoid arthritis sufferers swear by heating pads.

As they can wrap them around whichever joint is hurting them to gain the benefits of the soothing heat.

So why not treat your loved one to a Sunbeam Heating Pad as a gift?

As this pad is big enough to cover a larger area than most and comes with 3 different heat settings so you can choose the right intensity for you.

It also has a 9 foot electric cord so you don't need to sit right next to the plug socket when using it.

Some Hot & Cold Reusable Ice Bags

Another easy way to apply heat to your aching joints is through these reusable bags.

As by simply filling them with hot water you can rest them against wherever is hurting to gain instant relief.

And you can also fill them with ice too if you need to cool down acute pain.

Because applying ice to joints that are suffering from a flare of new pain is the best method.

As this will help to reduce the swelling and inflammation that is causing the pain.

This will help your joints to heal faster and get back to a more manageable level of pain.

So these hot and cold reusable bags are a thoughtful little gift for someone with rheumatoid arthritis.

As they can get both hot and cold therapy from using them depending on their needs and pain type.

And you get three different sizes of bag too which is great for covering different areas.

A Pair Of Warm And Comfy Slippers

Your feet, toes and ankles can also suffer badly with rheumatoid arthritis, feeling stiff, sore and painful.

So having something that can warm up your feet and reduce this stiffness is great.

Now you could achieve this with a variety of things such as heated socks, heated slippers, or even a heated foot bath massager which would all make nice gifts.

However, what I think would make brilliant gifts are these UGG slip on slippers.

As they are lined with luxurious sheepskin that feels amazing and will keep your feet warm and toasty.

Plus being slip on you don't need to bend over to put them on which is great as this can be a big problem during a pain flare.

So if you want to help someone to relax at home and forget about their joint pain these slippers are a good choice. 

Some Cooling Socks To Fight Inflammation

If you're suffering from a fresh pain flare in your feet and ankles then it will most likely be accompanied by swelling and inflammation.

And the best way to fight this is by applying cold therapy rather than heat.

As this is what your joints need to reduce the swelling and inflammation.

And a great way to do this is by wearing the NatraCure Cold Therapy Socks.

These make a really helpful gift as they are a comfortable pair of socks that contain space for two gel packs.

So one gel pack sits in the base of the sock and covers the whole length of the bottom of your foot.

While there are two extra pockets where you can place the second gel pack depending on where your pain is, one above the toes and one behind the heel.

So you simply store these gel packs in the freezer until you need to use them, then slip them into the socks and you have instant ice cold therapy right where you need it.

A great thing to have around to help you manage acute flares in your feet and ankles and a really nice gift to give.

An Automatic Jar Opener

When your hands, fingers and wrists are stiff and sore from rheumatoid arthritis doing everyday chores can range from difficult to impossible.

And one of the biggest issues people have is with opening jars or containers.

Because you simply can't grip with the strength needed, let alone then twist to get the thing off!

So getting someone a gift that can do this for them is a fantastic idea, and this is just what the Black & Decker Lids Off Jar Opener does.

As you simply place your jar on the turntable, lower the top of the machine down to rest on the lid, push the On button and hey presto, the lid is off!

So one of these machines can be a massive help to anyone with rheumatoid arthritis, especially on bad pain days.

Which makes it a gift that will be a great addition to their kitchen for sure.

A Food Chopper & Dicer

Another problem people with rheumatoid arthritis have in the kitchen is with food prep.

Because chopping, slicing and dicing vegetables can be extremely difficult at times.

And while you can find easy grip knives that make this easier, how about going for something that will take care of the whole process instead?

So a good gift idea is to get them an electric food processor like the Hamilton Beach Stack And Press Food Chopper.

As you simply place your vegetables in the bowl then press down on the lid to activate the choppers.

And this one is especially good for people with arthritis as there's no twisting required to put it together.

Instead each compartment stacks down on top of each other making it much easier on the hands and wrists.

A Heated Mattress Pad

Sleep is an incredibly important time for us all but especially for those of us who suffer from chronic pain.

As it's the time when your body regenerates and heals itself from the previous days exertions.

However, good quality sleep can be hard to come by for people with rheumatoid arthritis as stiff and painful joints can keep them up at night.

And this can leave them feeling awful the following day.

So a gift that can help them to sleep better is an awesome one to give and that's just what the Sunbeam Zoned Heated Mattress Pad could do.

As by placing one of these on top of your mattress you could get warm and soothing heat throughout the night that helps you to relax and soothes your joint stiffness.

And the good thing about this mattress pad is it has 6 different zones.

So you can target specific areas to heat rather than having to heat the whole thing.

And this is handy if you sleep with a partner too as they won't have to sleep with the heat on their side unless they want to.

So if you want to help someone wake up in the morning feeling rested and refreshed rather than stiff and sore, consider getting them one of these heated mattress pads.

A Heated Throw Blanket

Learning to relax is a vital part in being able to manage chronic pain and arthritis.

As when we feel stressed and anxious we tend to hold this tension within our bodies, which only causes more pain, stiffness and soreness.

In fact, being stressed out has been found in studies to make the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis worse.

But how are you supposed to relax when your joints are in pain?

Well one way is with a heated throw blanket as this can help you get snug on the sofa and soothe your painful joints.

And a great one to give as a gift is the Serta Heated Faux Fur Throw Blanket.

As it has the ideal combination of soothing heat alongside supreme comfort.

Firstly it comes with a controller with 5 different heat settings so you'll easily find the perfect level of heat for you.

And the faux fur material of the blanket is ultra soft to the touch and really comforting.

Perfect for a lazy Sunday.

A Pain Journal

Living with a chronic condition like rheumatoid arthritis is tough on the body but it's also just as tough on us mentally and emotionally too.

As day after day of pain can really take it's toll on even the strongest of people.

And this can lead to all sorts of issues such as anger, anxiety, depression and a feeling of hopelessness which will all just make your pain levels worse.

However, studies have found that people with chronic pain that keep a pain journal are much better able to manage their pain and remain less stressed in the process.

So gifting someone a pain journal can be a great idea if you think they will appreciate it and make use of it.

And the ideal one for RA sufferers is the Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Management Journal.

As this allows you to track your pain levels daily which can help you identify any pain triggers and daily habits that may need changing.

Plus you can keep track of your symptoms over the days and weeks which can be useful to show your doctor during check ups.

And there are things in there to help you mentally too such as mindfulness exercises which help you to relax and gratitude prompts and inspiring quotes to keep you in a positive frame of mind.

So all in all one of these pain journals makes a really thoughtful stocking stuffer. 

Easy Grip Cups

Gripping can be a real problem for people with rheumatoid arthritis, especially during periods when they are having a flare of pain.

And this can make dropping cups and glasses an annoying and all too regular occurrence and also a dangerous one when they contain hot drinks like tea and coffee.

So a nice gift to get someone with RA is a set of Marusya Easy Grip Cups.

These have been designed with the help of rheumatologists, occupational therapists and hand therapists so they're great for people with RA.

As they are lightweight and have textured indentations in the sides of the cup to make them non-slip and easy grip.

This removes the weight and pressure on your hands and fingers while holding them and greatly lowers the risk of dropping them.

So if you know someone that complains about dropping their cups on a regular basis then these non-slip ones make a great gift. 

Soothing Epsom Bath Salts

One of the easiest and nicest ways to gain heat therapy for your stiff and aching joints is by taking a nice long soak in a warm bath.

As the moist heat can penetrate deep into your joints and muscles giving you soothing pain relief.

And it can also help you to relax, slow your breathing down and put you into a calm and content state.

Plus having a bath can also increase circulation which aids healing and can help you to get a better night's sleep.

So it's wins all round.

And one gift that can make bath times even more helpful is a pack of Epsoak Epsom Bath Salts.

As these salts contain magnesium sulfate which dissolves into the bath water and works wonders to soothe and relieve stiff joints and muscles.

So if you want help help someone with RA make the most of bath times then a pack of these epsom bath salts will do the trick.

Instant Pain Relieving Gel

Topical creams and gels can be a great option for gaining instant and targeted pain relief when your pain levels are particularly bad.

And they are a safer alternative to using pain medications as you don't need to ingest them.

Instead you simply rub them onto your skin at the area of pain and allow them to penetrate and work their magic.

Now you can go for either hot or cooling creams but for rheumatoid arthritis a good choice would be a cooling counter-irritant cream such as Biofreeze.

As it contains menthol which cools and soothes your aching joints.

This works by stimulating the nerve receptors on your skin with the cooling sensation.

And this sensation overrides the pain signals being sent to your brain, thus lessening their power and hold over you.

So if you want to get someone a little gift to help them ease their pain then one of these topical gels is ideal.

And this Biofreeze one also comes with a roll-on applicator which makes it super easy to use.

Get Them A Popsocket For Their Phone

As I've already mentioned, gripping can be a real problem for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

And in the modern day the thing that people grip the most is their mobile phone.

As these things very rarely leave our sides.

However, this can be really painful for someone with RA as they require lots of subtle motor movements in your wrists and fingers to operate as well as a fairly solid grip.

So an ideal gift idea for the phone addict in your family is a popsocket.

These are small suction devices you pop onto the back of your phone or tablet and extend so they give you an easy way to grip and hold them.

Which is invaluable in taking the weight and pressure off your wrists, hands and fingers while using your phone.

Plus they also double up as tiny stands so you can watch videos and clips hands-free.

So if you know someone whose phone use is making their arthritic pain worse consider getting them one of these.

You can find these Popsockets on their website by clicking here.

A Gift Card For A Floatation Experience At A Float Centre

A really cool gift to give someone with rheumatoid arthritis is to treat them to a floatation therapy session.

The idea behind this therapy is you spend up to 60 minutes in a floatation tank or pod that is filled with a solution of water and epsom salts that is heated to your exact body temperature.

This creates a similar effect to the Dead Sea where you feel totally weightless and can float effortlessly on top of the water.

And the effects are twofold.

Firstly it's a great way of relaxing stiff and sore muscles and joints and relieving pain and tension.

And secondly it puts you into a relaxed, meditative state that is really effective for reducing any stress that can cause pain.

So this is a really great thing to do for anyone suffering with rheumatoid arthritis and it has been shown in studies to really help improve their mobility, function and quality of life.

Which makes it a great gift to give and it'll be an experience they'll never forget for sure!

Luckily these floatation centers are popping up all over the place now so you should be able to find one near you by doing a quick Google search.

Pay For A Regular House Cleaning Service

Doing the household chores is one of the biggest challenges for anyone living with rheumatoid arthritis.

As the pain and stiffness in your hands, wrists and elbows can make it such a grueling and painful task.

But the problem is that these chores never go away.

There's always something else to do!

So one of the most thoughtful gifts you could buy for someone with RA is to pay for a regular house cleaning service for them.

As this would take away the majority of their most difficult tasks and make their life so much easier.

However, when buying a gift like this you need to make sure you know the person well enough and that they'd be happy to accept it without feeling offended.

But if that's not a problem then this is a gift that will be more helpful than any other.

Rounding Up

If you know someone who lives with rheumatoid arthritis then you'll know just what a struggle it can be for them.

As the pain and stiffness in their joints never truly goes away.

And this can make even the simplest daily tasks so much more difficult.

So getting them a gift that will help them is a really thoughtful thing to do.

And I hope that you've found something among the gift ideas featured here that will suit your loved one and will be something they'll appreciate.


Resources used in researching this article:

https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/rheumatoid-arthritis/what-is-rheumatoid-arthritis.php

https://creakyjoints.org/living-with-arthritis/how-arthritis-gloves-work/

https://serenedreams.com/float-therapy-for-arthritis/

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Daniel

I'm a psychology graduate and a veteran of 5 spinal surgeries. I want to help people learn how to fight back against persistent back pain just like I have.

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