Therapy & Customized
Splinting > Finger,
Hand, Wrist, Forearm & Elbow Conditions > Base Of Thumb
Base Of Thumb (Carpo-Metacarpal) Arthritis
“Working with a knowledgeable hand therapist can make the difference between success and failure in complex hand surgical cases. The therapist extends the continuum of our care, as well as functioning as coach and trainer for our patients.”
Marybeth Ezaki, MD, Past President, American Society for Surgery of the Hand
In Phoenix Rehab, our senior hand therapists are experienced licensed and dedicated therapists (physiotherapists and/or occupational therapists) who specialized ONLY in the rehabilitation, treatment and management of painful fingers, hands, wrists, forearm & elbow conditions, because of interest, passion and expertise.
Osteoarthritis typically happens when there is a loss of joint space between two bones, and one of the most common joints in the hand to develop osteoarthritis is at the base of the thumb.
Due to the normal mobility of this joint (very mobile), unfortunately it predisposes it to increased risks of wear and tear, which results in loss of the cartilage or cushion between the joint.
Arthritis at the base of the thumb is also known as CMC arthritis or basal joint arthritis.
What causes arthritis at the base of the thumb?
The cause of arthritis at the base of the thumb is thought to be the result of a combination of factors including
- family history (ie genetics)
- repetitive pinching (which covers a lot of occupations such as manual labor, cooking, paper work etc) or
- twisting of the thumb
- and general overuse
Thumb arthritis can also occur when there is a history of
Thumb arthritis is seen most often in females over the age of 50.
What are the symptoms of thumb arthritis?
The symptoms of basal joint arthritis are pain with
- general thumb use
Using a key, turning a door knob or opening a jar can be painful with this type of arthritis.
Thumb pain may also occur at night or when resting. Patients with arthritis at the base of the thumb may also notice swelling at the area of pain.
What is the treatment for arthritis at the base of the thumb?
Treatment for basal joint arthritis can be non-operative or operative.
The initial conservative treatment is rest and modification of daily activities. If the symptoms are mild, the patient's doctor may prescribe
- an anti-inflammatory medicine
- a referral to our senior hand therapist
- and/or suggest a cortisone injection to help decrease the pain
If the symptoms persist and begin to limit hand function, the physician may then recommend the patient to consider corrective surgery.
What can a hand therapist do for me?
Hand and thumb splint for basal joint arthritis
Initially, our senior hand therapist can provide patient education including
- use of adaptive equipment
- activity modification
- and special exercises to help reduce pain
We can also provide a custom-fabricated brace or orthosis that will allow the thumb joint to rest and will provide support while performing daily activities. Hand therapy following surgery improves range of motion, and teaches the patient how to regain the function of the hand.
Patients may also receive the following hand therapy treatment modalities:
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Phoenix Rehab physio Services
Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist
physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly
trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of
expert care to our patients.
PHYSIOTHERAPY & PHYSICAL THERAPY
HAND THERAPY & SPLINTING
Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists
(sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand
following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.
Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes
CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES
Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on
- core stability
- flexibility and
It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which
meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries
You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY
Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood
flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to
- accelerate recovery and
- shorten downtime / recovery period required
It also prevents
muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle
Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.
All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).
See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.
At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.
Follow up sessions are inline to provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
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