Chronic Pain-Friendly Jewelry

I’ve been writing a mini-series about personal care and chronic illness. Two weeks ago, I wrote about accessible make-up design ideas to make your getting-ready space work for you. Last week, I shared some of my go-to shower tips to make getting ready just a little less exhausting. I’m excited to delve into something fun today: jewelry!

Some days we just want to look the part: hair, make-up, jewelry… But if you live with chronic pain, tremors, or dexterity challenges, you know that putting on jewelry can be an impossible or painful task. Between the small pieces and fine motor skills needed, sometimes it’s just not worth the effort.

If that has been your experience, it might be time to try some jewelry that’s a little outside the box. There are dozens of styles that aren’t fiddly or pain-inducing, but still reflect your personality. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. I post links to products that I have used personally, or that I feel might be helpful or useful to my readers. I particularly like to support small businesses, socially-responsible sellers, and other disabled/chronically ill individuals whenever possible.


Five pendant necklaces with geometric stones and leather tassels. Links to Etsy seller.
A series of five leather tassel necklaces are laid out on a white wood background. Each necklace has a gold chain and a geometric gemstone pendant, with colored tassel hanging from a gold attachment. The first necklace has square light rose-colored gemstone and olive tassel; the second, turquoise octagonal stone with orange tassel; the third, dark rose oval stone with turquoise tassel; the fourth has light turquoise oval stone and mustard tassel; and the last has white square stone with rose tassel.

The easiest solution to avoid messing with tiny clasps is to choose a long necklace that fits easily over the head. There are many options out there, from sophisticated fine chains to leather materials to boho necklaces such as these. Long necklaces are versatile, too, and perfect with plain t-shirts and shorts, sheath dresses, layered over a blouse or sweater, or tucked under a jacket or blazer. They’re an easy way to add some style without pain or hassle.

Image of sterling silver hammered cuff necklace, with link to Etsy seller.
A solid sterling silver bangle necklace is shown. The surface is hammered, with facets that reflect the light. The necklace is semi-circle in shape and fixed, with a small opening at the back. It is approximately a half inch wide, and narrows slightly at the opening. We see the necklace on a glassy black surface.

Another great solution is a cuff, or bangle, necklace. These necklaces have a fixed shape that fits around the contour of the neck. An opening in the back allows the necklace to be slid into place without having to deal with clasps. Necklaces like this come in all styles and finishes, and they are an elegant addition to any outfit.

Image of a silver wrap necklace with link to Etsy seller.
A silver chain lariat necklace is shown on a black rectangular display board. On one end of the chain, there is a wide silver hoop, with a long narrow post pendant passing through the opening.

For a unique look, a lariat necklace is a wonderful option. Styles vary from a more refined look like this one to boho chic looks with gemstone pendants. They come in metal finishes, leather, bead, and many other options. While a lariat necklace requires some fine motor skills, the large opening through which the chain passes makes it a little easier to manage.

Image of gold and diamond wrap necklace, with link to Angela Monaco Jewelry site.
A solid gold chain is shown. We see one section of chain doubled, or looped, with two ends of the chain passing through the loop. On the ends of the chain are two small diamonds with gold claw settings. The necklace is shown on a white background.

A wrap necklace is another great option. Typically, these necklaces are simply a length of chain, beading, leather lacing, or other material. They can be wrapped around the neck in many ways: simply draped over the shoulders, tied loosely, wrapped around the neck, or looped such as the necklace above. While wrap necklaces often have a more casual look, a gold option like this one is a more elegant choice (with a higher price point). There are many options available, and they are an easy solution.


Image of two tear drop silver earrings with fixed hook posts, with link to Etsy seller.
Two silver tear-drop shaped hook earrings are shown on a black marbled background. The hook is fixed and a solid part of the earring pendant. There are no backs or clasps on the earrings.

Earrings can be a real challenge, can’t they? Between tiny posts, those fiddly backs, and pendants that get in the way, it can be an impossible task to put earrings in. If you have a hard time with the fine motor required for earrings, you might want to consider earrings with a fixed post. Hook earrings such as these are often easy to put in: the pendant is solid and doesn’t move around, and is one continuous piece with the hooks. The hooks on these earrings are wide and long, making them easy to insert through your ear hole. And there is no back required to keep them in place.

Image of geometric clip on dangling earring, with link to Etsy seller.
A Caucasian woman is seen from the neck up, looking slightly to the side of the image. She has brown hair in a bun, aviator sunglasses, and is smiling slightly with red lipstick. She wears a black v-neck shirt and stands against a white stucco wall. On her right ear, we see a large dangling earring. At its top, there is a turquoise gem stone semi-circle, with flat side up. Over this, we see a smaller white pearl-like circle. Hanging beneath these is a large tortoiseshell hoop.

For a versatile option the requires only a little dexterity, consider clip-on earrings. These were the staple of generations past, and with good reason: they’re easy to use, and don’t require piercing. Even if you have your ears pierced, though, they can be a great choice for flare days or chronic pain. Simply hold the earring in place on the ear and snap the back of the clasp closed. There is no need to line up a post with the piercing hole, apply a fiddly backing, or any other precise movement. Earrings like this are a fun option for something unique, with a little bit of boho and ’90s flair.

Image of silver cuff earring, with link to Etsy seller.
The side of a Caucasian woman’s face is show, with her ear at the center of the shot. She has a cuff earring of sterling silver that has the appearance of a piece of rope looped through her ear, with two ends dangling to her neck.

For a different and stunning option that requires just a little dexterity, consider a cuff earring. There are many different cuff earrings available, and many are meant to be worn high up on the ear. However, there are some (such as this one) that can be worn closer to the ear lobe. The beauty of a cuff earring is that it is very easy to apply: simply hook the top portion over the ear, and tuck the bottom portion under the ear. There is some fine motor skill required for this, but there are no clasps or posts to deal with. A cuff earring is also a great option if you do not have pierced ears, since no hole is required.


Image of gold bangle cuff bracelet, with link to Etsy seller.
A wide gold bangle cuff bracelet rests on a white sweater. The bracelet band appears to twist, with a small opening in the back.

For a bracelet that’s easy to apply without the need for a clasp, nothing beats a cuff bracelet! There are thousands of styles and finishes, and they pair well with any type of outfit. A bracelet like this could be dressed up or down, depending on the outfit. And this set of three allows you to stack the bracelets on your wrist.

Image of multilayer magnetic leather bracelet, with link to Etsy seller.
A Caucasian woman in gauzy white top holds her forearm close to her face displaying a multilayer leather bracelet. There are thin gold and beige strands of leather, with clear white beads and a silver feather pendant.

Another pain-free, beautiful option is a magnetic bracelet. These pieces are easy to clasp with very little strength or dexterity needed, and come in a wide variety of styles and colors. From rustic braided options to multicolor strands to elegant choices like the option above, magnetic bracelets can pair well with almost any outfit and couldn’t be easier to fasten.

Image of seven beaded bracelets, with link to Etsy seller.
A series of seven bracelets hangs from a bamboo post against a white backdrop. The bracelets have small flat square beads in an assortment of jade, light rose, white, maroon, and mustard colors.

Of course, the easiest option for bracelets is to choose a piece with elastic. This allows the bracelet to be slipped easily over your hand with no need for clasps or fasteners. There are many, many options to choose from, including these beautiful boho bracelets.

Fastener Helpers

Image of necklace hook pendant that helps to fasten bracelet, with link to Lizzy James website.
A Caucasian woman’s hands and torso are shown. She wears a white sweater, with a long necklace and bracelet. The necklace has black lacing and a silver pendant with flattened “8” shape. The bottom of the pendant forms a hook. One end of the bracelet is caught in the hook, while the woman holds the other end up to fasten it.

What about that jewelry that you already have and want to enjoy wearing? There are some great options available for taking the pain and struggle out of fastening your existing jewelry. This necklace is a great example. It’s long and easy to slip over your neck. The hook pendant can catch one end of your bracelet (or another necklace), leaving your second hand free to fasten the clasp. While it still requires some dexterity, having one side held in place can be helpful!

Image of soft pink bracelet fastener device, with link to Etsy seller.
A soft pink plastic device is shown. It is roughly egg-shaped, with the lid removed and set off to the side. The bottom piece has a small clasp, and beaded bracelet draped across the top.

Another great option for fastening bracelets is a device like this one. The clip at one end holds one end of the bracelet in place, leaving the second hand free to fasten the bracelet. Again, this requires some dexterity, but makes fastening a bracelet just a little easier.

Image of a clip-on earring device with space for post earring, with link to WikiHow page.
An illustration shows a metal post device. In the first part of the image, we see a curved clip-on earring device with an attachment similar to an earring back, and a small butterfly-shaped earring back. A post earring sits in front of the piece. The second part of the image shows the post earring inserted through the attachment, with the earring back securing it in place.

To make your post earrings easier to wear, you might want to consider clip-on earring attachments. This WikiHow article shows step-by-step instructions for adapting any of your earrings to clip-on. This is a great way to wear all those beautiful earrings that were too hard to insert and fasten without the pain and struggle! There are instructions for post, hook, and dangle earrings included.

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