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Basal joint arthritis is the result of the wearing away of cartilage in the joint at the base of the thumb. The basal joint allows your thumb to move around so you can perform small motor tasks. Without plenty of cushioning cartilage, the joints become rough and grind over each other when you move, causing more joint damage. According to the Mayo Clinicthumb arthritis is the most common form of osteoarthritis wear and tear arthritis of the hand.

It can also be caused by injury to the thumb. Usually, the first sign of arthritis in the thumb is pain, tenderness, and stiffness. You might also feel a pain when you try to apply mild force, such as when you twist a key in a lock, turn a door handle, or snap your fingers. You might be left with a lingering ache. Over time, pain and inflammation can rob your hand of strength and restrict your range of motion. These Arthritis in the thumb become especially obvious when you try to pinch something or clasp an object tightly.

You might find it increasingly difficult to open jars, hold a drink, or use buttons, zippers, and snaps. For those with a severe case of arthritis in the thumb, small motor tasks that were once a matter of routine become too painful to attempt, or almost impossible to accomplish without assistance. The thumb may appear swollen, especially at its base, and you may develop a bony bump.

Arthritis in the thumb, the base of the thumb can take on an enlarged appearance. One alarming sign of thumb arthritis is improper alignment of the joint as it shifts from its normal positioning. This may affect the joint above the base as well, creating a bent-back appearance hyperextension.

In particularly severe cases, the thumb cannot get out of the palm of the hand. Try to avoid clenching your hands when you carry things, as this can aggravate symptoms. You should also avoid repetitive movements that involve pinching or twisting.

Apply alternating heat and cold to relieve inflammation and pain. A physical or occupational therapist can teach you how to perform range of motion exercises to improve function.

To help out around the house, take advantage of assistive devices designed to make it easier to write, open jars, grasp objects, and open Arthritis in the thumb. Try an over-the-counter pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication. Your doctor may recommend corticosteroids, which are usually injected directly into the affected joint.

Corticosteroids Arthritis in the thumb relieve pain and Arthritis in the thumb inflammation for a longer period of time than some other medications. A splint can provide temporary support for your thumb and wrist, limiting movement so your joints can rest.

The added support may ease pain for a while. It can also help with training your joints back into the correct position. You can wear a splint whenever you feel the need throughout the day, or even while you sleep. If nothing else works, there are some surgical procedures that may help. A surgeon can fuse the bones of your joint together. This will decrease pain, but leaves you without flexibility. The bones can be cut and repositioned, or one of the bones in your thumb joint trapezium can be removed.

A surgeon can also remove most of the Arthritis in the thumb, replacing it with a graft from other tendons. Surgery can be accomplished on an outpatient basis, but it takes Arthritis in the thumb to regain strength and range of motion. If it gets to this stage, be sure to discuss the options carefully with your doctor. Responding to early symptoms with splinting and medications will usually help relieve pain in the base of the thumb. However, basal joint arthritis will often worsen over time.

Many people experience pain relief and recovery of range of motion once they have surgery. Arthritis gloves are designed to reduce pain and swelling, while increasing hand mobility.

Check out our top five picks to see which one's right for…. If you have arthritis that affects your hands, we'll show you seven exercises that can improve strength, ease pain, and increase range of motion…. There are several types of arthritis that can affect your hands. Learn about the types, symptoms, and tips for prevention. Using your thumb a lot Arthritis in the thumb lead to osteoarthritis pain.

Learn about symptoms Arthritis in the thumb treatment options like exercise, medication, splints, and surgery.

Cook up these tasty, anti-inflammatory recipes with a global flair. They'll help reduce arthritis symptoms. Learn about the different arthritis creams that could help make you more…. Hand arthritis can cause your hands to ache, swell, be stiff, and more.

Learn how to manage this condition and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. If you live with osteoarthritis, you know it's a complex condition with a broad range of treatments and risk factors. Here's a detailed, top-to-bottom…. Symptoms Treatment Outlook What is basal joint arthritis?

Symptoms of basal joint arthritis. Treatment of basal joint arthritis. Tips for Preventing Arthritis in the Hands. Advil vs. Treatment for Thumb Arthritis. Read this next. The 5 Best Arthritis Gloves on the Market.

Medically reviewed by Aleah Rodriguez, PharmD.


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