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3978 Thumb-arthritis

Thumb arthritis

Thumb arthritis

This is a very common form of osteoarthritis affecting the hand and is also known as Basal Joint Arthritis. It usually occurs when the cushioning cartilage wears off from the adjoining ends of the bones that form one's thumb joint. One may experience severe hand pain, swelling, decreased strength and motion making it tough to do simple household chores such as opening jars.

What are the symptoms of Thumb arthritis?

• Pain occurring at the base of the thumb when one pinches or grasps an object between the thumb and forefinger.
• Decreased strength and range of motion
• Stiffness, swelling and tenderness at the base of the thumb
• Inflated, bony or out of joint appearance of the joint at the base of the thumb

Factors that may increase one's risk of Thumb arthritis include:

• Being 40 years of age or older
• Hereditary conditions such as malformed joints and joint ligament laxity
• Jobs or activities that put intense stress on this joint
• Injuries to one's basal joint such as sprains or fractures
• Having certain diseases that may change the normal structure and function of the cartilage such as rheumatoid arthritis

Lifestyle remedies that can help relieve pain include:

• Improve your joint mobility by performing a range of motion exercises.
• Avoid hand clenching when you carry things by choosing a purse with a sturdy shoulder strap instead of grocery bags with handles.
• Your doctor may recommend using heat or cold packs to help relieve swelling and pain.

If you have severe pain, stiffness or swelling at the base of your thumb, please seek medical assistance for an evaluation!