In this study the effect of pressure gradient gloves was compared with that of control gloves by eight patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and diffusely and symmetrically swollen hands. In the morning at fixed times, grip strength, circumference of PIP joints and proximal phalanges, nocturnal pain and morning stiffness in the hands were measured. Significant improvement of circumference of PIP joints (P≤0.001) and proximal phalanges (P≤0.01) were found. On wearing the control gloves, some improvement was also found, but only the circumference of PIP joints decreased significantly (P≤0.05). Nocturnal pain and morning stiffness diminished significantly on wearing both types of glove. Grip strength improved, but not significantly with both. No significant differences were detected between the effects of wearing the two types of glove. No correlation was found between the decreased swelling in the hands as measured by PIP joint circumference or circumference of the proximal phalanges and the decreased nocturnal pain or morning stiffness. This study provided no explanation for the beneficial effect of the gloves. It was shown that for some patients with painful and swollen hands, wearing gloves at night may give relief.
- Grip strength