How a Can Opener Can Affect Your Arthritis

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How a Can Opener Can Affect Your Arthritis

If you’re reading this, you don’t need me to tell you how painful and debilitating arthritis can be. Experiencing it in your hands is enormously frustrating, limiting and inconvenient. Without a cure in sight, the best you can hope for are good treatments, relieving medicines, and devices that don’t require a heavy grip.

In most instances, a can opener and arthritis are not friends. Using most manual can openers with arthritic hands can be a very painful endeavor. Meanwhile, too many electric ones fail miserably.

Fortunately, there is a better way.

Grip Issues

Trying to grip a can opener, arthritis or not, can be tricky on a good day. Many of them require a stronger grip than you may be able to provide. Since the handles sit in the creases of the fingers, where the joints are, clamping down can be problematic. Some handles aren’t long enough to fit properly in your palm, so then you don’t have enough leverage or stability to brace them. That means holding tightly throughout the opening process, causing pain, spasms, swelling, and time wasting. That’s made worse by having to use your other hand to turn a resistant cutter.

Uncomfortable Handles

So many manual models have two handles that require squeezing together firmly, which is torture. They may claim to have comfortable grips, but the majority of handles are just metal with a thin rubber sleeve over them. You still have to squeeze them together and use the other hand to crank the cutting action. There’s no give and a lot of pain.

Functional Difficulties

Most manual can openers, in order to work properly, need to remain perfectly straight. If not, the cutting blade can slip off the edge of the can. You then need to try and hold the can, open the can opener, set the cutting blade on the lip of the can, close the handles, and hold them tight while cranking the lever. Doing this with arthritis can be akin to torture.

Also when using a can opener with arthritis, you run the risk of cutting yourself. As your hands start to swell, spasm, tighten, and/or go numb, you could easily make a mistake, slip, and slice them open. Or if the cutting process doesn’t complete, trying to pry up the sharp-edged lid is a nightmare.

Electric Can Openers

Many arthritis sufferers feel that an electronic can opener is the right choice. Unfortunately, you still have to fiddle with setting the can properly against the cutting blade. Then you need the strength and dexterity to punch a hole in the can, then hold the lever down until the cutting cycle is complete.

On top of all that, electric openers are notoriously unreliable. They break down easily and are no good whatsoever if the power goes out.

Smooth Edge Cutting

The solution is to have a simplified manual can opener that involves one handle and clever ergonomic design. That single handle should be wrapped in silicone for a simple and more comfortable grip. The turning handle should be large and operate smoothly and the device should grip the can firmly and leave smooth, non-hazardous edges as it cuts.

If you’ve had enough of your arthritis screaming in the kitchen, the time is now to shop for a better, simpler can opener that will ease your pain.

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