All About Thumb CMC Arthritis

Thumb carpometacarpal arthritis or CMC arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis that affects the thumb. One of the most mobile joints in the hand is the CMC joint or the base joint of the thumb. The thumb is one of the most important parts of our hands allowing us to use our hand for the most important function it performs, holding something. The thumb is used for holding anything securely and hence the health of thumb matters the most when it comes to executing daily chores with ease.

What is Thumb CMC Arthritis?

Just like other forms of arthritis, thumb arthritis is the inflammation and pain that erupts in the base joint of the thumb due to the erosion of the synovium between the two bones that come together to make the CMC joint. The erosion of the synovium causes the two bones to rub against each other causing pain and inflammation in the joint.

Though it is more common in women, it can affect men as well and usually occurs after the age of 40. Sometimes people might have the predisposition to be affected by thumb CMC arthritis. Other forms of arthritis in the hand can also contribute to the occurrence of thumb arthritis.

What are the Symptoms of Thumb CMC Arthritis?

Thumb CMC arthritis shows its first signs with the swelling of the thumb and a growing pain at the base of the thumb and the wrist. Similar to other forms of arthritis, thumb arthritis might cause pain in the bones, muscles, and tendons that connect to the thumb. An individual might experience a stinging pain while pinching, grasping, or gripping. A decreased range of motion of the thumb is also seen in some individuals. Other symptoms include:

Causes of Thumb CMC Arthritis

The major cause of thumb CMC arthritis is osteoarthritis of the thumb. When the smooth cartilage between the two joint bones gets eroded due to constant and rough use of the base joint of the thumb, the two bones begin rubbing against each other. The rubbing of the bones causes pain in the bones which eventually spreads to the muscles and the tendons thus resulting in inflammation.

What are the Options for Treatment of Thumb CMC Arthritis?

Thumb arthritis of the CMC joint can be treated using several different techniques and products but the kind of treatment used depends on the stage of the arthritis. If detected during the early stages thumb CMC arthritis can be cured using medications and rehabilitation products. But last stage thumb arthritis usually requires surgery for treatment. Treatment options include:

  • Pain relief products – Since thumb CMC arthritis starts with pain in the thumb joint, the first step is to relieve the pain in the thumb. Options such as hot and cold therapy, topical analgesics such as creams and lotions, massage therapy, electrotherapy, etc can help relieve the pain the thumb.
  • Exercising – Exercising helps in regaining the lost strength of the muscles and strengthening the bones. It also helps enhance the overall strength of the body, thus enabling the immune system of the body to help fight the arthritis from the inside.
  • Splinting – Excessive movement of the thumb can cause complications and can also deteriorate the condition of the joint. Splints can help immobilize the joint and provide space for the joint to heal. They can be used in combination with other treatment methods to enhance the effectiveness of other treatment methods.

Where to Buy Products for Thumb CMC Arthritis Online?

At Rehab Store, we have a wide range of rehab supplies for treatment, management and rehabilitation of thumb CMC arthritis at amazing prices and with amazing offers.


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