Patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis mainly use boutonniere splints, which help them align joints that they cannot actively straighten, or swan neck splints, which prevent the extension of joints beyond the normal limits, states the Arthritis Foundation. People who want to use temporary ring splints may opt for plastic ones, while patients who want to wear ring splints for a longer period often prefer metal splints made from silver or gold.
Ring splints are effective in stabilizing affected fingers, controlling joint movement and preventing deformities in patients with arthritis, explains the Arthritis Foundation. The splints also reduce pain and improve range of motion in patients who cannot straighten a finger joint or frequently experience a finger stuck in a bent position.
Ring splints improve function and also serve as stylish accessories, notes the Arthritis Foundation. Many ring splints imitate jewelry through the addition of precious stones, semi-precious stones or decorative bands. Customized metal splints consist of double loops of sturdy, flexible material, allowing patients to wear the splints daily for more than 10 years.
An arthritis sufferer with painful and swollen hands should consult a certified hand therapist or an occupational therapist immediately, because the symptoms indicate the onset of joint instability, advises the Arthritis Foundation. People who ignore the symptoms may develop fused joints, which can no longer be corrected with splints.