3 Terrible Gifts for People With Arthritis

...and what to get them instead

If you are shopping for someone with arthritis, you want to get something that will help them feel better, not add to their frustration level. 

Man massages his painful wrist.


Here are a few examples of well-meaning but terrible gifts for many people suffering from arthritis: 


Chocolate is one of those catch-all gifts - it works for just about anyone because it is delicious and festive and all the good things. But if you have arthritis, chocolate can be more of a bad thing than a good thing. For many people, it causes symptoms to flare up. 

   2. Wine 

Wine is another popular gift, but it is another tricky proposition for those with arthritis: it can increase arthritic pain. Most physicians advise those with arthritis to take wine only in moderation, so unless you know for sure that your loved one with arthritis enjoys the occasional glass of wine, alcohol is a gift best left off your list. 

   3. Books about this or that diet, supplement, or any other “cure” for arthritis.  

While you might be well-meaning in your beliefs that turmeric or coconut oil or the Keto diet can cure just about anything, the truth is, people with arthritis have probably already done their research. And they have probably heard it all. While your book on the umpteen ways such-and-such can cure their misery might seem like a thoughtful gift, it is more likely to be a coaster. One that’s title brings more irritation than joy, as this blog on top pet peeves of people living with arthritis attests to. 

So wine, chocolate, or “wellness” books are a no-go for many people living with arthritis. What should you get them instead?

Gifts For People With Arthritis (That They’ll Actually Use)

Arthritis Pain Relief

Sure, you could spring for a heating pad. But if you want to give your loved one something truly decadent, opt for a spa certificate instead. Spa tubs, hot showers, and even steam rooms provide the kind of heat relief stiff joints love. Even cold therapy pools can be a source of comfort for sore joints for some people. 

Want to go the extra mile? Throw in a massage. Most professional massage therapists can work around specific problem areas to help to ease muscle tension and soothe aching joints. 

Woman lies face down, receiving a massage.

Make Everyday Tasks Easier

From rubber bands to jar openers to double-handled coffee mugs, there are about a gajillion different hacks and products that make opening kitchen items and other simple tasks easier for people living with arthritis. But if you ask us, there’s a better solution for getting a grip on things: CatTongue Grips’ non-abrasive Grip Kit. They can add a bit of gription to anything from zippers, eyeglasses, doorknobs, medication caps, and just about anything else tiny that is a strain to get a firm grip on. 

Coffee mug helps arthritis sufferers keep a grip on kitchenware and other objects.


These strips come in perfectly pre-cut sizes for just about any application and don’t need scissors to cut them to size (although you are welcome to cut them down to any shape you like, of course). And another huge plus? They are anti-microbial. This is a huge plus for those already more susceptible to viruses, now more than ever. 


Giving someone something that screams EXERCISE can be a tricky proposition (ask anyone who received a thigh-master or an exercise bike for their birthday how THAT went over). But exercise equipment can actually be an extremely thoughtful gift for people with arthritis. The idea here is to choose items whose function is more about soothing painful joints than anything else: gifts that will actually help them feel a bit better. 

Look for things that help them to gently stretch their aching muscles, for example, exercise balls and resistance bands. Grip strengtheners like putty can help exercise hands in particular. 

Woman exercises with a resistance band.  

Arthritis-Friendly Keyboard & Mouse

Tiny buttons are already a treacherous proposition, but if you have arthritis, they are downright problematic. Luckily, ergonomic keyboards and mouses are specifically designed for this scenario, and they make great gifts for people with arthritis. Typically, these keyboards feature keys that require less pressure to type, and they might have backspace and other commonly used button positions, so they are far easier to reach. 

Check out this National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society guide for more tips on the best keyboards and other computer gadgets that make things a bit easier on the hands and wrists for people living with arthritis.

Hands type on a keyboard.


That’s our round-up of gift ideas for people with arthritis. These helpful tools will help do everything from easing joint pain to simply making daily living just a bit easier.