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The Best Golf Grip for Smaller Arthritic Hands

author image Katie Schroeder-Smith
Katie Schroeder-Smith published her first article in 2001 in the journal "Occupational Therapy in Health Care." She has since contributed to the "Life Skills Management" manuals and "Frederick's Child Magazine." Schroeder-Smith is an occupational therapist certified in sensory integration and yoga. Schroeder-Smith attended the University of North Carolina and holds a Master of Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University.
The Best Golf Grip for Smaller Arthritic Hands
Wearing special gloves may improve your grip strength and reduce arthritis pain as you play golf. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Thirty-three percent of all golfers are seniors, and women make up over a quarter of all golfers, according to the National Golf Association. If you have arthritis, a condition that causes stiffness of joints and disabling pain, it may become difficult for you to continue this sport. With proper care of your condition and the use of adaptive devices, golf can be a pleasurable and beneficial way to enjoy your time. Golf grips in the form of gloves are available for a variety of hand sizes.

Benefits of Golf for Persons with Arthritis

According to the Arthritis Foundation, golf is beneficial in improving your strength, range of motion, balance, and coordination as you age with arthritis. Golf can be a relaxing and pleasurable experience to keep you physically and socially active. Even if you ride in a golf cart, swinging the golf club helps improve your shoulder, elbow, trunk, hip, and ankle flexibility. Gripping a golf club can improve your hand strength, but can also cause discomfort and stiffness if you have arthritis in the hands.

Arthritis in the Hands

Individuals who suffer from arthritis in the hands may have swelling, stiffness in the joints, pain with movement and use of force, and even hypermobility of surrounding joints. If the thumb joint is involved, for example, the surrounding joints may compensate by becoming more mobile. This can lead to risk of tendon and ligament damage upon exertion if the joints are not properly protected. People with rheumatoid arthritis must protect their joints in order to prevent deformities from developing.

The Best Grip to Improve Comfort and Decrease Pain

Gloves are a common adaptation to improve grip and decrease pain in persons with arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation promotes several products with their Ease of Use badge. The IMAC Arthritis Glove claims to improve comfort and reduce pain in users by providing gentle compression to the joints of the hand while leaving the fingers free to function.

The Best Grip to Improve Strength and Force

The Arthritis Foundation recommends the Bionic Glove for men and women who play golf. An independent study by the Pinehurst Golf Academy found improvements in driving the ball farther in users wearing this glove. An earlier study demonstrated significant gains in grip, pinch and force strength in users. Grip strength increased by 16 percent, and pinch and torque strength improved by up to 47 percent. The glove is available in mens and womens size small, and medium for those with smaller hands.

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