Oh My Arthritis Web Site Hopes to Arthritis Sufferers

Julie OMA article nov2013 #3 (377 x 400)Julie Belkin, formerly an occupational therapist and orthotist (brace maker), specialized in treating hand conditions – most specifically, arthritis. After 20 years of clinical practice she moved into the business side of supplying therapists with products. After working in product distribution for several years, Belkin realized she had a passion for designing products, particularly splints to treat arthritis.

In 1997, she established a company dedicated to providing carefully-designed splints for patients with arthritis including what has become her company’s signature product, the Oval-8 Finger Splints. These splints help correct finger problems for patients with arthritis and treat finger injuries as well. The company quickly grew to sell a variety of innovative splints and various other products that enhance function. Today, Belkin has launched a new web-based company, Oh My Arthritis (ohmyarthritis.com), to make these products available directly to consumers.

Belkin comments, “As my company grew and the internet became the primary source for trusted information on arthritis, I wanted to get the message out that there are some very simple solutions for arthritis that really do make it easier to use your hands.” She adds, “With the help of a Board of Advisors, consisting of physicians and therapists with expertise in treating the board range of arthritic conditions, Oh My Arthritis has the expertise and dedication to choose only those products that are proven to make the performance of daily activities easier, less painful, and therefore more pleasurable.”

In addition to offering products to consumers, Belkin hopes the Oh My Arthritis site will serve as an educational tool for arthritis sufferers, as well as the general public. She comments, “We are living longer and are more physically active as older adults today. With this longevity however, also comes age related problems such as osteoarthritis and inflammatory forms of arthritis. I hope the site will offer a variety of well designed products to make it easier for anyone to perform daily activities with greater comfort.” Belkin references such products as the long-handle reachers, which are helpful to any age person, as an example of products the site will be offering.

Belkin has spent her life as a creative problem-solver. As an occupational therapist, she would look at an activity and determine how a person with altered function would be able to do it. As a tinkerer, Belkin has been drawn to product design. The marriage of the two has created products which are comfortable, fit properly, and help people function. An example are soft 3pp Buddy Loops, which are ideal for protecting injured fingers. The company has a line of soft thumb splints that provide comfortable support for those with CMC or basal joint thumb arthritis, the most common form of arthritis in the hand. There are even splints for feet and toes including 3pp Toe Loops that help treat hammertoes and toe fractures.

Oh My Arthritis already has a blog, but hopes to engage readers in more interactive dialogue, answering questions and providing useful, practical information.

Belkin concludes, “I am hopeful that the quality of life is improving for arthritis sufferers. There are new biologic drugs which are making a difference for people. I think the products offered by Oh My Arthritis can help to further improve the quality of life for many people. Visit ohmyarthritis.com for further information.

In photo: Pictured is Julie Belkin founder of a new web-based company, Oh My Arthritis (ohmyarthritis.com), which distributes products for arthritis sufferers, as well as provides an interactive website, including a blog which engages readers by answering questions and providing useful, practical information about arthritis.