If you have arthritis, you know what pain and stiffness are, and you know how the disease affects your joints, energy level, strength, and functionality.
Yours truly has degenerative disc disease and low back pain—a package that makes some days more of a challenge than others. As such, I am aware of how my body can conspire to make difficult many everyday activities that folks without these genes take for granted. I’m talking about flexion, extension, and weight bearing activities such as walking, running, bending, kneeling, twisting, reaching, pulling, pushing, lifting, and so forth, all of which are pretty relevant to carrying a gun and self defense. Similarly, if you have hand or arm pain, deformities, or weakness as a result of rheumatoid arthritis or some variant of this disease, you are no doubt well aware of your functional limitations.
If you are a defensive or competitive shooter, these issues can present a load of problems. In this article (which is the first in a two-part series) we shall discuss considerations in choosing an arthritis-friendly defensive handgun that you can actually use if you have arthritic genes that have blossomed. In our next issue, we shall look at some ways to get around the problems caused by arthritis so that you can still improve, practice, and maintain your defensive handgun skills with your chosen handguns.
by Bruce N. Eimer, Ph.D.