There are many types of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis which happens as the joints simply wear out over time. The good news is that there are a number of effective treatments—particularly for arthritis of the thumb—that can ease the pain and restore comfortable movement of the joint. Jeffrey M. Jacobson, MD, a Hand, Wrist and Peripheral Nerve Surgery specialist with Westchester Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, explains these in his recent blog.
Thumb arthritis can cause severe pain, swelling, and decreased strength and range of motion, making it difficult and painful to do simple tasks. The most common symptom is pain when pinching something, particularly with an open grip, such as opening jars or turning doorknobs.
There are 5 major ways to treat thumb basilar joint arthritis
- activity modification and adaptive strategies
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- hand therapy
- cortisone injections
While no one rushes into surgery, when it’s time, surgical options are generally very effective and result in extremely high patient satisfaction. Also, since mild heat tends to make arthritis of the thumb feel better, a great way to treat a painful thumb joint is to take a hot shower or soak your hands when washing the dishes. Yes, warm soaks (even if this means doing the dishes) really do help.
To read Dr. Jacobson’s blog in full, click here.