What Thumb Brace is Best for Thumb Arthritis?

All you have to do is go online or visit your local drug store to see how many options there are for thumb braces.  Custom made, ready made, splints for resting your thumb, braces to support your thumb… the list is long!   So how do you find the answer to the question – what thumb brace is best for thumb arthritis? Read on for tips on what to look for in a thumb brace and which thumb braces are best for your thumb arthritis pain and different activity levels.

Tips On What to Look For in a Thumb Arthritis Brace

While it really does depend on which part of your thumb is affected and the severity of your arthritis- in general you should look for a brace that supports or immobilizes the thumb joint(s) that hurt.

You may also consider having two braces available. One for daytime use and one for nighttime use. For daytime use, a brace that supports and protects your hand and thumb is recommended and for nighttime use consider a  brace that provides rest to calm your symptoms.

Here are few tips on what to look for in a thumb arthritis brace based on which thumb joints hurt:

1. Pain at CMC Joint

A hand based brace that supports the base of your thumb is best when you have pain at the CMC joint. The CMCcare Thumb Brace and the 3pp Prima Thumb Brace are good examples for this type of pain.

cmccare thumb brace for cmc thumb arthritis
CMCcare Thumb Brace
3pp prima thumb arthritis brace
3pp Prima Thumb Brace

2. Pain at MP Joint

If the pain is mostly at the middle or “MP” joint- look for a brace that supports that joint and the CMC joint. The Fix Comfort Thumb Brace provides firm support to stabilize the middle and base of your thumb.

fix comfort thumb brace best brace for arthritis gamekeepers thumb and skiers thumb
Fix Comfort Thumb Brace

When Does Your Thumb Hurt?

Does your thumb hurt only when you are active or does it also hurt at rest?

1. If your thumb hurts only during activities, a light support soft or flexible brace may be all you need to support the joints while allowing you to move and use your hand

3pp thumbsling for thumb arthritis
3pp ThumSling

2. If your thumb hurts even when you are not using it, a firm support brace that immobilizes the thumb to allow it to fully rest may be what you need

3pp thumsaver mp thumb brace for gamekeepers or skiers thumb
ThumSaver MP

Which Thumb Braces are Best for Different Activity Levels

Most thumb braces are designed for different levels of support for different activity levels.  In general, you should look for adjustable braces that let you control how much compression and support they provide.

  • If you will be wearing the brace during daytime activity, look for lightweight options that are designed to support while still allowing some motion
  • When you have to do something that requires dexterity, look for non-bulky materials that let you hold things in your hand so you are not tempted to take it off

Depending on the severity of your condition and your level of  pain, the brace you need when you are active or out and about, may not be what you need at night or at rest. During the day, when you need to move more, you may need a light support splint that provides light compression without completely restricting your thumb motion. A firm, comfortable thumb brace at night limits motion and enables the thumb joints to rest, reducing pain and inflammation.

It’s always recommended that you consult with your health care provider before beginning any treatment. When looking for what thumb brace is best for you, it really depends on your thumb arthritis pain level. Often you can start off with a light support brace that provides compression to reduce your pain, but still allows you to function.

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Our blogs are educational in nature and are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Because your condition is unique to you, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider before attempting any medical or therapeutic treatments. We are always happy to answer questions about products mentioned in our blogs, however, we cannot provide a diagnosis or medical advice. 

7 comments on “What Thumb Brace is Best for Thumb Arthritis?

  1. I have osteoarthritis all over my limbs and more frequently on my right thumb. Search to get the right for daily use.
    Many thanks

  2. I broke or tore the ligament in my left thumb last year I also have arthritis in both thumbs .My problem is I ride a motor bike so it can get to hurt after a while .My other problem is I play pool and my left hand is my bridge hand and getting my thumb into the right position hurts when in some positions .I really need something light and thin to get under my gloves and flexible for playing pool am I asking too much.

  3. I’ve had strong pain in base of my right thumb , for a while now . Please could I hav ur knowledge on this please . I’ve been looking at phone splints

  4. I have had a severed ligament in my thumb for about 8 years.
    I have been able to get by with the injury up to this time.
    Recently, my MP joint has been getting worse limiting my thumb function.
    I am an avid golfer and was wondering what would be the best brace for the MP joint considering the above information.


    1. HI Tony,

      I am sorry to hear that you have been experiencing thumb problems for so long. Although a splint or brace may be beneficial, seeing your doctor or a hand specialist is an important first step to finding relief. Consulting with your healthcare provider can provide you with a diagnosis and options on what type of brace would be most beneficial. Once you have received a diagnosis, we do have thumb braces that may help. The ThumSaver MP can help ease your pain by providing firm support to the middle and base of your thumb without restricting wrist motion. I hope you find relief soon.

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