Assistive Devices and Orthotics

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An assistive device is a tool or piece of equipment that helps make a task easier. Some of these tools can help when pain and stiffness make it hard for you to do your daily tasks. For example, you may find it hard to button a shirt or to open and close a door. Or it may be hard to go up and down stairs or get in and out of a chair.

These tools include:

  • Canes and crutches.
  • Braces, splints, and other orthotics.
  • Stools, carts, trash cans, and other objects on wheels.
  • Doorknob extenders that can be used to open doors without twisting the doorknob.
  • Elevated toilet seats.
  • Molded or padded handles on objects like keys or kitchen gadgets.
  • Velcro fasteners on clothes and shoes to replace buttons and laces.
  • Electrical appliances, such as can openers, that can help you avoid twisting movements.


Current as of: July 17, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.