Best Socks and Other Clothing for Arthritis

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  • Dress for Less Stress

    Dress for Less Stress

    Arthritis can make you feel cold and achy. You want to warm yourself in comfy garb, but putting on and removing clothes designed for fully abled folks can be a chore.

    Innovative makers of clothing have come up with inspired, and pleasantly surprisingly, workarounds to help you. Special clothes for men and women are designed to make it easy for stiff or weak fingers to manage—all with the goal of helping you maintain your self-sufficiency. 

    Click through the slideshow to learn more about the best clothing for arthritis.

  • Adapting the Everyday

    Adapting the Everyday

    It’s important to keep arthritic feet warm. “Warmth in general helps the joints feel more comfortable and more lubricated,” notes Julie Buck, co-owner of Buck and Buck Clothing.

    The Seattle-based company has spent 36 years designing and providing original adaptive clothing to help people with arthritis maintain their independence. But this type of clothing doesn’t just help the patient; adaptive clothing also enables family members or caregivers to more readily provide dressing assistance.

  • Pulling Up Your Socks

    Pulling Up Your Socks

    If your feet hurt as you walk, padded socks can be helpful. Compression socks help if you have swelling. But compression socks may be difficult to get over your feet, given that they are less stretchy than regular socks.

    You can use a sock aid to put on compression or regular socks. These come in different designs, including a half-tube with attached handles. You place the sock on the tube and pull it over your foot.

  • Velcro Fasteners

    Velcro Fasteners

    Arthritis patients may have problems manipulating small buttons. Because of the lack of strength in hands and fingers, “you want to make closings as simple as possible,” says Buck.

    “It depends on how arthritis is affecting that particular person,” Buck says. “Everyone is different. It’s the motion, whether it’s creating a lot of discomfort. There are many things that can be done. Velcro provides a much easier alternative to buttons.”

  • Expanding Men’s Wear

    Expanding Men’s Wear

    Pants with Velcro flies also make dressing much easier for men. Not only does Velcro save time, it makes dressing and using the restroom much easier.

    Hook-and-loop fasteners also broaden the wardrobe range for men with arthritis. Women can wear dresses, skirts, and pullovers. Men are limited largely to pants and shirts. With fewer clothing options, men need a way to maintain their independence. Velcro is a huge help.

  • Men’s Shirts and Neckties

    Men’s Shirts and Neckties

    Polo shirts, simply pulled over the head, provide one option for men with arthritis. In addition, Velcro rises to the rescue again to allow shirts that resemble buttoned shirts and even dress shirts. Adapted shirts for men with arthritis feature Velcro closings in place of buttons.

    If a shirt is designed to be worn with a tie, it has a Velcro top closing. If not, the fastenings are kept everywhere buttons would normally be, including the cuffs. Men can also take advantage of zippered neckties. With these ties, you can slide the knot up using a zipper.

  • Roomy Sizing

    Roomy Sizing

    Clothing adapted for arthritis patients features roomier sizing and elastic waists. “A lot of styles make the elastic so it is a little stretchier and roomier than what you would find in general market,” Buck notes.

    Manufacturers aim to make the waists elastic enough for dressing independence. Pull-on pants may feature an all-elastic waist.

  • Exercise Your Accessories

    Exercise Your Accessories

    In addition to specially designed clothing, you can use these accessories and tricks to make dressing easier:

    • Protectors for the wrists, arms and legs made of polar fleece also provide warmth for the joints. In a pinch, you can cut the feet off socks to make tubes to keep your knees or elbows warm.
    • Zipper pulls can make the head of a zipper more accessible. You slip your fingers through the loop to pull the zipper.
    • Elastic laces on shoes can be tied in a semi-permanent bow. This allows you to slip your shoes on and off without retying.
    • Front closures make bras easier to manage.

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