Researchers at the University of Southampton, led by Dr. Jo Adams, have concluded that wearing a specific type of silver ring splint is beneficial for alleviating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They found that this particular silver ring splint is effective in controlling hyperextension deformity in finger joints.
Until now, people with arthritis in their hands had to use bulky plastic splints to get relief from the symptoms. The new silver splints have been found to be longer lasting, stronger and more comfortable. The purpose of the splints is to provide stability to the finger joints.
Cynthia Garris, an occupational therapist, was herself diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1974. She knew the benefit of using splints but was aware that the splints that existed at the time did not address long term use. So in 1985 she initially designed and manufactured a new series of silver splints. They are used by arthritis suferrers who find that they cannot use their hands to the extent that they were able before developing rheumatoid arthritis. The splints can be used for every day tasks or very specific or involved tasks.
Dr Jo Adams, who co-authored the report, was awarded the Arthritis Research Campaign Silver Medal at the British Society of Rheumatology’s annual meeting. The Arthritis Research Campaign prize in rheumatology is presented annually by medical research charity the Arthritis Research Campaign to five healthcare professionals working with people with arthritis in the fields of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, podiatry and other related areas.
The collaborative study was undertaken by technicians from Occupational Therapy at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester, the School of Electronics & Computer Science and the School of Health Professions and Rehabilitation Sciences from Southampton University.