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Driving problem

jennandjennand Posts: 113
edited 14. Jun 2018, 02:39 in Living with Arthritis archive
We are considering changing our car soon. At present, I only drive short distances because my hand ( right one) gets so stiff if I grip the steering wheel too long. I’ve tried various things to help but no success. Tried a foam tube like I have on my bike handle but hubby had to keep taking it off when he drives plus it didn’t really help. Ditto a handle that you grip. How do others combat this? I don’t have a mobility car.


  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm not sure why you need to grip the steering wheel so hard for so long, yes it's necessary when manoeuvring but otherwise the hold should be relaxed, as should one's general driving posture.

    A car with a larger steering wheel could be a possible solution as one needs to manipulate that less but they are hard to find, the modern trend remains for shirt button sized wheels. Adaptions are available but they still require gripping. If you are contemplating a long journey then take pain relief beforehand and, when taking a break, relax your hands in a bowl of warm water, gently flexing and stretching your fingers. I have PsA affected finger joints but fortunately don't find this an issue. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yes, I agree. I never gripped the wheel hard in my driving days. I did find that the thicker the wheel the easier to drive, though. There are attachments eg a steering knob so you only hold that. I think it has to be fitted professionally and the DVLC informed. You can also get other adaptions which may or may not help you and which your OH would probably hate :lol: You can probably find a list here https://tinyurl.com/yar3hooa
    . Just because they do Motability cars doesn't mean to say they won't do others too.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • Airwave!Airwave! Posts: 2,427 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The years of driving around the continent are gone, I get round pain and stiffness by fidgeting and stopping more frequently than I used to. 1500 songs, dab radio, you name it to take my mind off of driving.
  • crinkly1crinkly1 Posts: 156
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    I have had the same problem for many years and we recently changed our car for an automatic, which is a lot easier for my hands generally. (I do realise there are drawbacks to the automatic gearbox but we've reached a stage of life when towing anything more than a small trailer is no longer a necessity and are not concerned by the lesser acceleration etc.)

    I counter the issue of finger stiffness/tightness by ensuring that I try to equalise my grip on the wheel so neither hand is over-used and then stretch out the hands alternately from time to time and before the fingers become uncomfortably 'locked' in position.

    I also never drive for more than 60mins without a short break during which I get out of the car and flex/stretch all muscles.

    The temperature inside the car or outside seems to make no difference and, like most of the issues of OA, I have found no 'cure' - just careful management.

    Sorry I can't be more reassuring but I still drive long distances to visit our family members; just take longer over the trips. Like most of living with OA 'compromise' is the way ahead.

    Keep driving - Crinkly1
  • jennandjennand Posts: 113
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks all. I suppose driving is just one of the challenges we face in our daily activities. Tally Ho!!!
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