You can make adjustments to minimize pain and safely accommodate a limited range of motion while driving. Start by adjusting mirrors so you won’t have to twist and turn to check blindspots when changing lanes. Elin Schold-Davis, an occupational therapist, driving rehabilitation specialist and coordinator of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Older Driver Initiative, offers more tips.
Sore hands and fingers? Minimize the force on fingers by using the heel of your hand to work controls. Add a padded steering wheel cover to make it easier and more comfortable to grip. Attach a spinner knob (also known as a brody knob) to your steering wheel to make turns easier on hands and wrists.
Trouble maneuvering the pedals? Shoes with tall heels or thick soles can make it hard to feel and operate pedals and can tire your feet and ankles. Instead, wear a low-heeled, flexible shoe, which lets you more easily pivot your foot to control pedals.
Difficulty getting in and out? The Stander HandyBar ($29, amazon.com), a device that hooks onto a door latch, and the Stander CarCaddie ($12, amazon.com), a soft strap with a handle that attaches to the top of the car door, can help you lift and lower yourself in and out of a car.
Feeling stiff? On long trips, stop every two hours or less to stretch and move around for at least five to 10 minutes.
Shopping for an arthritis-friendly car? Try these tips!
Author: Jennifer Davis, Adapted from Arthritis Today Magazine
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