Our Thumbs account for 40% of the functional use of our hands! Osteo-arthritis (O-A) of the base of the thumb (CMC joint) is the most common site of O-A in the hands. Not only can the constant pain interfere with the quality of your life, but it can severely limit your independence.
In moderate to moderately-severe cases of thumb CMC O-A, customised splinting to use functionally can make a huge difference, and combined with exercise and ergonomic advice to minimise stress on the joint can assist you in gaining pain control.
In severe cases of CMC O-A that require surgery, we can assist with early post-op wound care, bracing, and rehab exercises.
However very often the stage for damage is set up earlier in life through poor mechanics in how you use your thumb. Hand Therapists are skilled in picking up these poor functional movement patterns and correcting the underlying weakness or poor ergonomics leading to overload on the CMC joint. So if you have a ‘hypermobile thumb,’ find opening jars or bottle lids painful or difficult because your grip is just too weak, seek early advice before permanent damage is done. Minor changes in your work and daily habits, a few basic strengthening exercises can change things around!
Education and advice on arthritis impacting other joints of your hand such as the small joints of your fingers can also assist in improved symptom control.
post surgical rehab ; crush injuries ; tennis elbow