Thumb arthritis affects millions of people worldwide, causing pain, stiffness, and limited mobility in the thumb joints. By understanding the four stages of thumb arthritis, you can take action to prevent further damage and find relief.
4 Stages of Thumb Arthritis
Stage 1: During this stage, you may experience mild pain and swelling when putting pressure on the thumb joint. Activities like gripping or pinching objects may trigger these symptoms.
To alleviate the pain in this early stage of thumb arthritis try avoiding activities that can strain the thumb such as using your non-dominant hand more often and avoiding repetitive movements. Taking over-the-counter pain medications and using thumb splints or braces may also help.
Stage 2: As thumb arthritis progresses, the cartilage in your thumb wears down more, and bone spurs may start to develop. This can lead to increased pain, stiffness, and swelling that can interfere with everyday tasks like opening jars or buttoning clothes.
Medical intervention, such as splinting, steroid injections, or pain management medications may be necessary at this stage.
Stage 3: At this point, the joint cartilage may be bone-on-bone which can cause increasing pain, loss of grip strength, and limited movement. Bone spurs can also contribute to joint deformity.
Surgery may be required to correct the deformity and restore function.
Stage 4: This is the most advanced stage of thumb arthritis, where joint damage is extensive, and pain is severe. The joint may become immobile, making even simple tasks challenging.
Surgical procedures like joint replacement or fusion may be the best options to alleviate pain and restore function.
Early Diagnosis & Prompt Treatment
Thankfully, an early diagnosis and prompt treatment can make a significant difference in managing thumb arthritis. Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines, wearing a splint or brace, and modifying your activities can help relieve pain and prevent the condition from progressing.
Choosing the Right Splint or Brace
Finding the right support for your thumb can help ease symptoms and reduce pain.
If your pain is mostly at the middle or “MP” joint the Fix Comfort Thumb Brace offers firm support to stabilize the middle and base of your thumb.
For pain and swelling along the thumb side of the wrist the 3pp Ez FIT Thumb Spica Splint provides secure and extended thumb support.
Understanding the four stages of thumb arthritis empowers you to manage and treat the condition effectively. By taking proactive steps to manage it, you can live a more comfortable and active life. Don’t let thumb arthritis hold you back – seek early diagnosis and treatment for better outcomes.Like what you’ve read? Click here to subscribe to the blog!
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Our blogs are presented for informational purposes only and are not to be considered 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 intervention. We are happy to answer questions or comments pertaining to any products mentioned in our blogs, however, we cannot provide a diagnosis or medical advice.