Peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that occurs in the body’s extremities. It’s often caused by diabetes or chemotherapy treatments for cancer.
While it mostly affects the feet, many patients also experience neuropathy symptoms in the hands.
Symptoms of neuropathy in the hands vary from one person to the other and may include numbness, tingling, loss of sensation, pain in the fingers or on the thumb side of the hand, cramps, sharp pains, burning sensation, and others. They can spread up the wrists and the arms.
Neuropathy gloves may help relieve the pain and discomforts caused by damaged nerves by providing compression, cold, heat, or vibration therapies.
There is no such thing as the “best neuropathy gloves”. In fact, neuropathy and its symptoms vary so much depending on the individual and the extent of nerve damage that relief solutions are very diverse.
While some people find relief in compression therapy, others don’t and find cold or heat therapies to be much more efficient. Here’s a selection of 5 great therapeutic gloves that may help with neuropathy pain.
Warning: whether caused by chemotherapy or diabetes, peripheral neuropathy is a serious condition that could lead to severe health complications. Always ask for your doctor’s advice before using gloves for neuropathy in the hands.
Copper Compression Gloves are recommended for chronic pain in the hands caused by arthritis, inflammation, carpal tunnel syndrome, neuropathy, and nerve damage.
Compression gloves can help with neuropathy pain in the hands but must be used wisely and with medical supervision. They exert continuous pressure to help increase blood circulation to the wrists and hands and lower the pain and stiffness. Increased blood circulation allows more oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to the hands which ultimately decreases neuropathy symptoms and helps prevent further damage to the nerves.
The best about these neuropathy gloves is that they are infused with copper for maximum hygienic benefits. Copper is naturally antibacterial and odor-reducing. The fabric here also has great moisture-wicking properties so your hands are not wet from the sweat.
These gloves are super flexible and comfortable to wear. They provide an efficient supportive compression therapy without limiting movement which is very important so your muscles can keep working and strengthening.
Besides, the fingertips are touch screen friendly. You can keep using your smartphones, tablets, and iPads while wearing them.
The price is very reasonable (less than $25 a pair). They’re available in men’s and women’s sizes from small to extra-large.
IMAK Compression gloves for neuropathy are made with 92% cotton and 8% spandex. They’re highly stretchable and provide great continuous mild compression throughout the day to relieve neuropathy pain and symptoms.
The fabric is breathable but they might be less moisture-wicking than the previous Copper compression gloves.
Unlike the previous ones, these neuropathy gloves are fingerless so they give full freedom to feel, touch, and grip. They also feature anti-slip grippers which are quite convenient for everyday use and diverse activities like driving, gardening, cooking, and others.
The price is similar to the above Copper compression gloves (around $25 a pair). Their size range is a bit wider with men’s and women’s sizes going from extra-small to extra-large.
Copper Fit innovates with these unique compression gloves infused with menthol for an icy pain relief.
These gloves are made with a blend of nylon and spandex for great stretchability and mild compression. They feature a pull-on closure to allow and easy and painless insertion. They have an open finger design combined with anti-slip silicone grips.
They’re designed to help boost blood circulation and oxygenation to the hands, as well as reduce swelling and lower pain and soreness.
The uniqueness of this product is that the gloves function with a patented micro-encapsulation technology that releases copper, CoQ10, and menthol. While copper enhances the compression and helps keep your hand in a dry and healthy environment, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) helps boost cell growth and recovery.
Menthol has proven to work great for neuropathy pain. The refreshing feeling it provides is found to help relieve nerve pain from both chemotherapy and peripheral diabetic neuropathy. In fact, numerous over-the-counter creams for neuropathy contain menthol as one of their main pain-relief ingredients.
The only downside of these neuropathy gloves is the limited sizing. They’re only available in small/medium or large/extra-large sizes which may make it hard to find the perfect fit.
Cold therapy is one of the most effective alternative ways to manage nerve pain caused by diabetic neuropathy or chemotherapy treatments.
Ice cold is a strong natural analgesic. It’s also a good anti-inflammatory and helps decrease swelling. Scientific studies have shown that cryotherapy (cold therapy) works great on chemotherapy-induced neuropathy pain. Patients who were wearing frozen gloves and socks for 90 minutes during chemotherapy reported efficient pain relief.
Healthy Hands cold therapy gloves for neuropathy are really worth the try if you’re struggling with never pain in the hands. In fact, they’re specifically designed for chemotherapy patients and people with neuropathy.
They provide 20-30 minutes of cold therapy and total coverage of both hands with 2 ice packs per hand (top and bottom). The ice packs are reusable.
Warning: never put ice in direct contact with your skin. It could cause ice burns and lead to severe complications for those living with peripheral neuropathy in the hands.
Neuropathy is such a difficult condition to address because patients suffer from different symptoms and find relief in different therapies. While some people find that cold relieves nerve pain, others claim warmth is more effective.
If heat or warmth therapy works for you, NatraCure warming mittens for pain relief will make great neuropathy gloves. They provide deep soothing heat therapy.
They’re very easy to use. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute and massage the gloves to evenly distribute the heat before slipping your hands inside. Wear for about 5 to 10 minutes. Heat therapy increases blood circulation, reduces inflammations, lowers pain, and soothes the skin.
Warming: if you have peripheral neuropathy, you may have lost sensation in the hands and may not be able to feel temperatures properly. Make sure not to overheat the gloves. It could cause skin burns.
Compression therapy for neuropathy is controversial among health professionals. Some doctors claim its benefits and others warn about the risks.
People with neuropathy often suffer from poor blood circulation and a lack of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood delivered to the hands. They often need a circulation booster to help bring that blood to the body extremities.
But compression gloves are designed to boost blood circulation from the hands back to the heart, and not from the heart to the hands. So whether or not compression gloves are good for neuropathy isn’t clear.
While it may seem contra-productive, numerous patients suffering from neuropathy pain in the hands and feet find compression gloves and socks to efficiently relieve the pain.
In any case, never wear compression gloves for neuropathy without your doctor’s advice. It may be contraindicated in some cases.
As said above, because of its specificities, peripheral neuropathy is very difficult to address. When the nerves are damaged, the whole path by which pain signals are sent to the brain is disrupted.
Neuropathy patients experience different and sometimes even contrasting symptoms. While some may feel no pain at all and have lost sensation in the feet or hands, others suffer from severe pain and discomforts. It makes treating neuropathy very complicated and very patient-depending.
That’s also why there is no such thing as the best gloves for neuropathy. You may find compression gloves to work best for you, while other patients will find relief in heat therapy gloves, cold gloves, vibrating gloves, or other types of pain-relief gloves.
Vibrating gloves may help with neuropathy. Vibration therapy is showing great promise as an alternative pain management therapy for damaged nerves.
Although research is still limited on the effects of vibration on neuropathy, it is claimed to have helped reduce neuropathy symptoms and slow down the progression of nerve damage for numerous patients.