Osteo arthritis of thumbs

November 20, 2017

wondering if you can help. I am a clinical massage therapist and have recently been diagnosed with moderate degeneration of both basal thumb joints. I work intelligently with conservative thumb use, and have done various things for thumbs (right mainly) over the 3 years of thumb pain.

Alot of soft tissue work,taping, osteopathy, acupuncture ( good when they were particularly inflammed) I have turned down the offer of cortisone injections and am left with pain only if i load the unsupported joint.

Can you advise in general and with specific thumb strengthening if appropriate.
Kind regards

November 20, 2017

Hi Dina

Sometimes, an arthriticy joint isn’t the problem – it’s what you do it that is.

Thumbs, for people who use their hands can become problematic and whilst doing strength type exercises for your thumbs (rubber bands, squeezy balls, playing cards etc) is all well and good, it’s also a little frustrating as the change is slow because you have to do a lot to get a little.

Instead I think it better that you try and strengthen the entire upper limb right from scapula stability work to arm strength to forearm flexibility. Do all you can to take the excessive load from your thumb by maximising what you’ve got elsewhere.

Steroid injections do help, but with work elsewhere they will last
much, much longer.

The Guru

Guru Responded

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