Arthritis and Driving: Tips for Ease

Those suffering from arthritis may find it difficult to walk to the car and back.  However, most do not let arthritis stop them from enjoying their life.  So, you may head out of the house and hop into your car.  This is great, what if you start experiencing pain?  How do you treat it on the road or prevent that pain from coming back the next time?

Keep arthritis pain relievers in the car.  In one of your car’s compartments, have a few pain relief supplies on hand.  This may include over-the-counter pain pills, a tube of arthritis cream, or on-the-go heat patches.  Whether you experience pain as soon as you get in your car, or later down the road, rely on these over-the-counter products to seek relief.  If you live in an area with cold winters, do not keep these items in your car, as they may freeze.  Instead, put them in your purse or fanny pack.

Speaking of over-the-counter products, most retail stores sell on-the-go heating patches.  These patches stick to your body and warm with skin contact.  ThermaCare is a well-known brand.  They are ideal when you can’t use an electric or microwaveable heating pad.  If in pain before you leave the house, but must still leave, like for a holiday party or a doctor’s appointment, apply an on-the-go heated patch.  Relief will last for up to 12 hours.  Since they stick directly to the skin, no adjustments should be needed.

Buy a remote car starter.  If you live in the northern United States, it is important to warm your car first.  Unfortunately, this may mean an extra trip back and forth.  It doesn’t have to.  Instead, purchase a remote car starter.  This device allows you to start and warm your car from inside your home.  They also make it easier to unlock car doors.  Instead of fumbling with the keys, push the button and your car doors unlock!  When buying a remote car starter, look for stores that offer free or discounted installation.

Buy no slip steeling wheel covers.  Those who suffer from arthritis of the fingers, dread driving.  In fact, some may fear the danger they put themselves and others in.  If you find it difficult to grip your car’s steering wheel, make a new purchase.  That purchase should be an easy grip and non-slipable steeling wheel cover.  Ask a store employee, family member, or friend to install the cover for you.

Keep a jar opener in the car.  If you have arthritis of the hands, you likely already utilize rubber jar openers at home.  They make griping, twisting, and turning easier.  Keep one in your car.  Use it to unscrew your car’s gas cap.  You can also find arthritis gas cap wrenches available for sale.  They slip over your gas cap, have an extended and easy grip handle.  These are nice, but they can be hard to find.  For the same price, you could easily buy 20 rubber jar openers, which accomplish the same goal.

Keep your car well gassed.  As previously stated, there are tools available to make opening and losing the gas cap easier.  Even with these tools, it can still be difficult and painful.  To prevent the onset of pain, always have a full tank of gas in your car.  You won’t be forced to put gas in when you are already in pain or more susceptible to it.  If you have a full-service gas station in your area, use it.

As you can see, there are many steps that you can take to ease travel and car use.  Just because you suffer from arthritis and are prone to pain, it does not mean you need to live your life in fear.  Implement the above mentioned steps to reduce pain.  If and when it does arrive, turn to your stash of over-the-counter arthritis care products to seek relief.