Photo of Eileen Davidson with her child
Credit: Courtesy of Eileen Davidson

Everyone knows being a parent is a difficult task, but when you add a chronic illness like rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, or lupus to the mix, things might get even more challenging in unique ways. Arthritis can cause pain, swelling, fatigue, and a slew of other symptoms that fluctuate each day. And if you’re a mom with arthritis — there’s a lot of us considering that one in four women live with a from of arthritis —  many tasks that you tackle regularly can cause even more pain and fatigue.

Show your mom, wife, girlfriend, or friend who’s a mom that you put some thought and research into her special gift this year. As a mom living with arthritis, I can assure you every item on this list makes a perfect gift for those living with chronic illness. And if she’s anything like me, she might already have an Amazon wish list with a title “Health” or “Arthritis Gadgets,” which might be full of some of these arthritis-friendly items.

Best Gifts for Every Budget

Here are the best gifts for every budget to get a special mom (or anyone) living with arthritis.

Heating Pads

We can honestly never have enough of these. Small, medium, or big, heating pads, electric blankets, or microwavable heating pads are all wonderful gifts to anyone dealing with chronic pain. Hand and foot warmers can not only relieve pain but cold extremities. You can find electric ones and microwavable ones that you can also put into the freezer.

Ice Packs

Just like heating pads, we can also use a never-ending supply of ice packs to combat the pain of arthritis. Small, medium, large, disposable, or handmade ice packs are a wonderful arthritis-soothing gift.

Compression Gloves

I particularly love Grace and Able’s compression gloves because of the material and the fact that they are developed by a RA patient and Certified Hand Therapist.

Topical Creams

If you can find a topical with CBD, menthol, lidocaine, or diclofenac it’s bound to have some pain-relieving properties, which are always appreciated. Ask your pharmacist for their top seller.

Support Pillows

Elevating our legs can help reduce swelling and pain, so a special leg pillow might do the trick if you need a great thoughtful gift for a loved one with arthritis. Maybe legs aren’t their main source of pain? There are many different types of support pillows on the market. For example, half-moon pillows are a big hit for comforting various joints.

Weighted Blanket

Many arthritis patients also suffer from mental health issues like anxiety and depression. A weighted blanket can help calm them to get the rest they need.

Shower Chair

My life changed once I purchased a shower chair for my shower. Not only does it help me from slipping and falling in the shower but it helps me relax and save some energy by sitting down as I shower instead of putting pressure on my joints. On really bad days with arthritis, even showering can seem like a daunting task — and shower chairs help.

Bath Salts

Speaking of bathing? If mom loves to take a soothing bath, you can never really go wrong with essential oils or bath salts.

Ergonomic Products

These can be many different items like an arthritis friendly electric can opener, jar opener, bottle opener, rubber grips, under the cabinet jar opener, adaptive utensils, variety of knives for arthritic hands and wrists. How about an electric chopper?

When looking up ergonomic products on Amazon you can find many options that make a great gift, from key turning aids to foam tubes to make handles easier to hold, dressing aids,  writing aids and arthritic hand friendly scissors. Reach extenders, nail clippers, and more, arthritis can impact daily living in many ways we can never get enough ergonomic products to help us out.

Standing Desk

Sitting at a desk is often a big trigger for arthritis pain but switching up positions can help alleviate some of that pain. A standing desk makes a great gift for a mom who has to sit a lot. There are different kinds of standing desks, from stand alone, to L-shaped desks to one that fits on their desktop. Why not pair it with an ergonomic mouse, or a tablet holder?

Book Holder

Even simple things like holding a book can be painful when living with arthritis, so if you have a special someone in your life with arthritis and they love to read, a book holder is an incredibly great gift.

Gardening Tool

I love to garden but weeding is painful! A raised garden bed and stand up weeder make gardening so much easier for me.

Fitbit or Health Tracker

My life with rheumatoid arthritis changed when I started tracking my physical activity and symptoms with a fitbit and an app I could sync with my fitbit. Fitbits can be a great gift for anyone wanting to become more active and take control of their health.

Cannabis Products

You can buy a variety of cannabis products intended to not get high but help with pain relief; products with only CBD will offer this, however CBD does work better with some THC in it. A lot of arthritis patients use cannabis, so if your mom likes cannabis, those might be the flowers she truly wants for Mother’s Day.

Something Sweet (and Low in Sugar)

Dark chocolate is your go-to dessert for moms who are watching sugar content because sugar equals inflammation. The great thing about dark chocolate is that it’s actually healthy in moderation. If she’s not a chocolate fan, how about some Golden Milk or a Mango Turmeric smoothie?

Gift Cards and More

A thoughtful gift card that can help mom feel better or make life with arthritis a little easier is also a great option.

Massage

Whether this be at a professional clinic, a spa, or a massaging gun, massage always makes a great gift for someone in pain. TENS Machines are a popular item for anyone living with chronic pain. My favorite kind of massage for pain relief has been acupressure or a massage from an registered massage therapist — any massage that really focuses on loosening my tense muscles on my trigger points.

Meal Delivery Service

Symptoms love to rage in the evenings with arthritis, leaving me exhausted well before dinnertime hits. Having ready-made meals or simple meals to prepare like the ones through HelloFresh can take a load off my daily tasks. Do a google search for local healthy options that deliver near you.

If you’re looking to cook for her or if she feels comfortable dining out, keep in mind that the Mediterranean diet helps reduce inflammation, so I suggest Lebanese, Greek, or Italian food.

Cleaning Service

Cleaning with arthritis is extremely painful but constantly needs to be done. Give your mom a rest by cleaning the house for her or hiring help to do so. One of the best gifts for anyone with arthritis is giving them a helping hand with chores — anytime of the year.

Roombas also make a great gift for anyone because vacuuming is a chore, especially when adding in the pain of arthritis.

Medical Expense

I’m talking about the services that aren’t covered by insurance usually, like acupuncture, physical therapy, occupational therapy, registered dietitian, and naturopathic physician. There is a good chance mom wants to see one of these to help her with her arthritis. It’s OK to ask her for her preference.

Shoe Store

Finding the right shoes can be a challenge when living with arthritic feet, knees, hips, or back. I would suggest a gift certificate to a shoe store instead of buying them a pair of shoes that might cause more pain. Popular shoe brands for those with arthritis include Hoka, Birkenstocks, Clarks, SAS, new Balance, Vionic, and Ecco.

Pharmacy or Health and Wellness Store

We can take a lot of different supplements which add up every month. Gift certificates to her favorite pharmacy, health and wellness store, or even Amazon can help cover the costs of supplements and vitamins they use often.

Lingerie Store

Ok so maybe boys of arthritic moms don’t want to get mom this but maybe the husband or daughter might! Bras can be extremely painful when living with arthritis so we often go searching for a comfortable one or a bra we can open in the front. Gift certificates to hunt down the perfect comfortable bra make a great gift. Lingerie stores also often carry a wide range of soft and comfy pajamas, which are a hit for anyone with chronic illness.

Arthritis Awareness Tattoo

It was pretty soon after my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis that I got the RA awareness ribbon along with the word “fighter” on my wrist. Has mom ever said she wanted to get a tattoo in her arthritis journey?

Donations

For the mom who has everything? Why not make a donation to life-saving arthritis research in her name.

The Gift of Support

The greatest gift you can give a mom with arthritis is love, understanding, support, and rest. That doesn’t cost anything but can do wonders for their health and wellbeing. Research shows that those who have a strong support network do better with their arthritis. Read my essay on ways to support anyone during chronic illness and the bumps it comes with.

Be a More Proactive Patient with ArthritisPower

Join CreakyJoints’ patient-centered research registry to track your symptoms, disease activity, and medications — and share with your doctor. Learn more and sign up here.