What Are Therapeutic Gloves?

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  • Written By: Sandra Koehler
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 23 October 2019
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When a chronic or prolonged disorder or ailment affects the hands, it makes everyday activities difficult or even impossible. Conditions ranging from arthritis to recurring tendinitis to Raynaud’s disease can inhibit normal hand movement and sensation, and can prevent the proper function and use of the hands. Therapeutic gloves are a treatment option designed to provide support, proper positioning, and even warmth to alleviate chronic issues and help increase the function of the hands.

Arthritis is a medical condition in which the joints — the areas where the bones meet — become irritated and begin wasting away. This can cause changes in the joint shape and ability to operate correctly. It also causes inflammation, resulting in a constant ache or discomfort. Applying specialized therapeutic gloves is a treatment option used to both support the affected joints while minimizing swelling and connecting symptoms such as pain and stiffness through the use of compression.

These therapeutic gloves, typically made out of a stretchy but snug material called neoprene, can also help minimize hand problems caused by repetitive use syndromes, also referred to as recurring tendinitis. Tendinitis is when there is irritation of the bands of tissue that connects bones to muscles. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a chronic tendinitis that affects the tendons in the wrist and can impede proper hand functioning. Using ergonomic or positioning-supportive therapeutic gloves can help minimize symptoms and aid in reducing the pain and swelling associated with this condition.


Raynaud’s disease is a medical disorder in which the blood vessels in the hands, and often the feet, are prone to a hypersensitivity of the nerve receptors in the fingers and toes. This causes these small vessels to violently contract at even the slightest exposure to cold or even stress, triggering a decrease in blood flow. This can produce an extreme cold feeling and even numbness and loss of function in the toes and fingers. Utilizing specialized therapeutic gloves referred to as far infrared or Raynaud’s gloves provides a penetrating warming effect through the use of far infrared rays to restore blood flow and circulation.

Therapeutic gloves may also be beneficial in circumstances where the hand has a decreased ability to make the fingers flex or extend, a condition caused by extreme spasms in the finger muscles, commonly called contractures. Specialized therapeutic gloves with elastic band attachments to the fingers can provide a gentle, prolonged stretch to the fingers to increase hand functioning. These bands may also supply a gentle resistance to increase the strength of the finger muscles.


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