Highlights from the Arthritis Life Extravaganza Presentation

Note: This is for general information purposes only and not a substitute for medical advice.

Always discuss your personal situation with a health care professional.

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4 factors to consider when purchasing pain management tools

For more information on choosing pain management tools CLICK HERE

Things to include in your Flare Kit

pain management ideas
Pain management Part 2

Medications – as directed by your physician

Infrared Heat Therapy – 10 x deeper than a traditional heating pad

We love the Thermotex infrared heat therapy heating pad. Comfortable low heat, yet it penetrates 10 x deeper than a traditional heating pad. Helps to reduce inflammation and speed up healing.

I have had the platinum heating pad by Thermotex for 13 years and I LOVE it! I literally use it every day. I can’t say enough good about it!

The model I have has 3 panels which makes it very versatile for use on a variety of joints. It’s easy to wrap it around joints such as the knee or shoulder.

Check it out here and use the coupon code RALIFEHACKS30 to save $30 and get FREE Shipping in North America. Thermotex personal products are registered Class II Medical Devices with Health Canada and the FDA (United States). They also have FDA 510K clearance.

**They offer a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee so there is no risk to trying their product out!**

Red Light Therapy- so easy to use!

Red light therapy is easy to fit into your day since you can combine it with other activities that you are doing. I like to use my red light while I read or while I do stretches. 

Red light therapy increases circulation, speeds healing and can decrease pain and inflammation. It is also great for the skin and for promoting hair growth. (Definite  perks for those of us who have experienced hair loss or for those with skin issues like psoriasis) 

I purchased my light from Kala after doing a lot of research into what to look for in a light. Although the improvements were subtle and slow, I definitely noticed improvements after 2 weeks of using it twice daily. I noticed less pain and a decrease in swelling.

Use the coupon code RALIFEHACKS10 to save 10% off any product they offer.

**They offer a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee so there is no risk to trying their product out!**

They are a Canadian company that ships worldwide. They offer FREE shipping anywhere in North America.

Topical Pain Creams – Rub on Pain Relief

WBC Terminator – Roll-on Pain Cream

I have literally spent hundreds of dollars trying dozens of pain creams and lotions.

Some brought a measure of relief, but by far the one that I find brings the most relief, and the quickest relief, is the roll-on from World’s Best Cream.

A bonus of having it in a roll-on application is that it doesn’t get on your hands (and end up in your eye! I’ve done that before with some other pain creams!).

Check it out here and use the coupon code RALIFEHACKS to save 10%.

**They offer a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee so there is no risk to trying their product out!**

They are a Canadian company that ships worldwide.

Compression Gloves- A Hug for your hands!

Compression Gloves

When I was first diagnosed with RA I had compression gloves recommended to me by others who had more experience with living with RA. 

I promptly bought a pair and after feeling the benefits of it I ended up buying another pair so I could have one for daytime and one for sleeping at night. 

Compression gloves, as Grace and Able describe them, are like a “hug for your hands.”

Compression gloves can temporarily reduce swelling and can have an effect on our neurological system and our perception of pain. 

I wear the gloves when my hands are sore or swollen and I have to type or write, prep work in the kitchen, or do any other hand-intensive work.

By wearing the gloves to bed at night when my hands are not doing well, I find my hands are less swollen and stiff in the morning. (I usually wear a bit looser fit at night since the swelling is usually worse at night and I don’t want it to be too restrictive since I’m not awake and alert to any changes).

I’ve had success with a few brands of compression gloves but since I’ve discovered Grace and Able, I prefer their gloves for a few reasons: they are well made, high quality, are available in a variety of colours (something I’ve NEVER seen from another company, they are almost always grey or black) and the founder of the company is an RA warrior as well so I love being able to support another warrior whenever I can. 

I also love that they ask for input from their customers to vote on their new colours available etc. They truly are all about making products that not only are functional but also fun and don’t make you feel like an old lady. 

You can check out the variety of colours of compression gloves and wrist braces available here from Grace and Able. If you need shipping to Canada, email them before placing your order to get a better shipping rate.

Coban Tape – Convenient and affordable

One of the things I love about Coban tape (or other brands of self adhesive elastic bandage wrap) is how versatile it can be. I keep a roll of this at my work and then if one of my joints starts to flare, I instantly have something to help me add some compression and support. Finger swelling? Coban it! Wrist sore? Coban it!

There are a variety of sizes and styles available. The one I use is purchased from Amazon

Massage Units – some TLC for your muscles and joints

Foot Massager

I’m on my feet all morning at work and so on my lunch break, I come home and have a foot massage to soothe my aching feet.

Having someone give me a foot massage is sometimes painful and I find I don’t enjoy it because I’m tense just expecting them to go a little too deep and to cause pain. 

What I love about this foot massager is that I maintain control, and I enjoy it so much more . There are three settings for the massage intensity (rollers under the feet) and for the air compression. I adjust the settings according to how tender my feet are that day. My feet always feel better after a massage and so I use it daily.

Click here to find it on

Click here to find it on

Tens Machine – Electronic Stimulation for Pain Relief

A thoughtful family member bought me the Dr Ho’s Pain management system and it has been a great help especially when my muscles are out of whack. Easy to use and once you use a few times your body gets used to the sensation and can find quite a bit of relief.

DR-HO’S Pain Therapy Device is a registered medical device (so you might be able to get some money back depending on your insurance) and is clinically tested to improve blood and nerve circulation, decrease muscle tension and pain, and improve tissue oxygenation.

Paraffin Hand Wax– Like a spa treatment at home

Paraffin wax dips are often used at physiotherapy offices as well as as a luxurious treatment at spas. Paraffin heat is soothing and comforting and, when applied with lotion, it can be intensely hydrating and refreshing. These work best if you have a location where you can have it set up all the time, since it will otherwise take some prep time to have the wax melt to a liquid state. These are available on Amazon or at your local bed and bath store.

Natural Supplements – Nature is powerful

Supplements should always be taken under the care of a health professional who is aware of all medications and other supplements that you are taking to prevent contraindications. Once you find a regime that works well for you, be sure to have them on hand so that when you need them most you have them available.

Epsom salts – Affordable and effective

Reduce stress, swelling, and pain while you soak! Ease inflammation and discomfort with the soothing magnesium rich salts. Available here on Amazon or at your local pharmacy or drug store.

Ice Packs – Put out the fire!

Ice can calm inflammation and reduce swelling. Ice packs can be as simple as a frozen bag of peas, or more dignified like these gel packs.

Patches – Slap on a patch and let it do it’s thing

I was super sceptical of these patches but figured I had nothing to lose and decided to give them a shot. There are three patches that I now use regularly as I have noticed a reduction in my pain, stiffness, and inflammation when I wear them.

One is an immune modulating patch which helps to calm my overactive immune system (I’ve even noticed fringe benefits like my body no longer reacts to mosquito bites when in the past I would get welts the reaction was so bad).

Another is a patch I wear everyday for overall wellness and improved balance.

And the third patch that I wear as needed when my pain gets bad is specific for reducing pain.

The principals behind these patches are all based on neuroscience and are drug-free and non-invasive.

Resources for a flare kit
  • Inspirational Quotes
  • Music Playlist
  • Breathwrk App
  • Uplifting Movies
  • Favourite Books
  • Photo of your “WHY”

Flare-Friendly Assistive Aids for food

Kitchen Mama Can opener – lightweight and one touch operation for easy-to-open canned food

MagnaCuff – An assistive tool to help you use utensils when you lack the ability to grip: Use Coupon Code FLAREKIT15 to save 15% off on their website

Souper Cubes – for freezing portion-sized meals for flare days

Flare-Friendly Clothing

I absolutely love my hands-free KIZIK shoes! They are designed to be slip-on shoes with the comfort, support, and style of a sneaker. You can click here to check out their website and learn more. If you would like to try them for yourself use the coupon code LIFEHACKS10 to save 10% or Click here to read my full review on them.

You might also enjoy this blog post with over 18 tips on how to choose arthritis friendly clothing.

“Shelter” through the Storm – Flare Friendly Comforts

Heat with healing benefits – Again I always highly recommend the Thermotex infrared heating pad. It’s multi functional and so comforting.

Check it out here and use the coupon code RALIFEHACKS30 to save $30 and get FREE Shipping in North America **They offer a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee so there is no risk to trying their product out!**

Soothing Heat – A day in bed is much more enjoyable when you are wrapped in soothing warmth, for days like these I love using a heated blanket. Although it does not offer the same healing benefits that infrared heat does, it is cozy and comforting which benefits both the mind and the body.

Rolling cart for a flare kit – easy to move around the house without having to carry anything. Works great as a side table beside the bed. Keeps everything easy to access. I love carts like these on amazon.

Storage Box for a flare kit – I have a storage ottoman than does double duty in my living room. It’s a ottoman by day and a flare kit storage container for flare nights. It is great for holding larger objects like my foot massager, foot bath, and Epsom salts.

Hanging Shoe Organizer – repurposed for a Flare Kit. This organizer hangs in my bedroom and has my wrist braces, compression gloves, patches, and topical creams and rolls ons neatly organized and easy to access.


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