297 High Street
Dedham, MA 02026
More support where
needed with less restriction
Arthritic thumb pain is one of the most common types of arthritis and can significantly limit day-to-day functioning – activities like dressing, cooking, hobbies, and even work become a struggle and can cause unbearable pain. The most common type of thumb arthritis is CMC joint arthritis (commonly known as Basal Joint Arthritis), which affects the base of the thumb right where it meets the wrist.
Symptoms of CMC joint arthritis are pain and swelling at the base of the thumb and progressive weakness, particularly with pinching and grasping activities. Over time, the cartilage thins resulting in grinding pain from bone-on-bone contact.
Conservative treatment for CMC arthritis typically includes some combination of the following: application of heat or ice, over-the-counter pain medications, and/or the use of a splint or hand brace to support and rest the joint.
When conservative treatments are no longer effective, a doctor may recommend injections or, ultimately, surgery.
Home modifications and/or adaptive equipment are another strategy for improving function while suffering from thumb arthritis pain. Large handle grips on utensils, doorknob openers, button hooks for dressing, and jar openers are all examples of modifications to ease thumb pain while maintaining functional independence.