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Do you find getting dressed to be a struggle because of your arthritis?

No doubt, arthritis can take a toll on your daily life in ways you probably never even thought about until you started experiencing pain and stiffness regularly. But when your fingers throb, your shoulders ache, or your neck feels too stiff to turn fully, everyday habits like making coffee and blow drying your hair can become considerably more challenging.

In fact, mornings with arthritis are particularly tough, research shows. Morning pain and stiffness was the arthritis symptom that had the biggest negative impact on a person’s quality of life, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Economics.

Getting dressed is one big part of the morning routine that can take getting used to. When you have arthritis, getting dressed can:

  • Take longer
  • Feel tiring
  • Be made easier by using assistive devices, like zipper pulls or button hooks
  • Be made easier by wearing clothes that are easier to put on and off

And it’s a good thing that clothing designers are starting to pay attention to the last bullet point. Tommy Hillfiger is promoting its adaptive clothing line for both children and adults, which features modifications like adjustable hems, one-handed zippers, side-seam and expanded-back openings, adjustable waists, and magnetic buttons and Velcro. Up-and-coming designer Michael Kuluva, who himself has rheumatoid arthritis, featured magnetic closures in his arthritis-friendly collection at New York Fashion Week back in September. And other companies are following suit.

If getting dressed is a struggle for you, there are lots of things you can try to make your life easier.

First, let your rheumatologist know. They can help you find an occupational therapist who can help show you tricks and modifications. Read more about occupational therapists’ tips for managing arthritis.

Check out these tips for simplifying getting dressed and finding arthritis-friendly clothing.

And consider trying one of these assistive devices, these ideas to make mornings easier, and these hand exercises to improve strength and dexterity over time.

Learn More About ArthritisPower

For more information about managing your arthritis, please consider joining ArthritisPower, the first ever patient-led, patient-generated research registry for people with autoimmune arthritis and related conditions. You can make a difference in the fight against autoimmune arthritis and related conditions. Here’s how:

  • Track your symptoms and treatments: Keep tabs on your health with tracking tools on your PC or smartphone.
  • View your data over time: Empower yourself with personal data to better understand your symptoms.
  • Share your information with your doctor: Get customized reports that summarize all the information you have logged.

Make a Difference: Speed the arrival of personalized medicine by helping researchers better understand how different treatments work for different people.