For those of you that have been diagnosed with CMC Thumb Arthritis, using your thumbs for even simple activities can be painful. Opening a jar, turning a key, holding a pen, lifting a plate can all cause thumb pain and make the simplest of tasks, hard to do.
CMC Thumb Arthritis is a very common condition that occurs when the cushioning cartilage wears away from the ends of the bones that form at the joint at the base of the thumb. The treatment prescribed by health care providers for the early stages usually begins with rest, anti-inflammatories, heat/ice therapy and splinting. If these treatments aren’t effective, they may prescribe occasional corticosteroid injections or surgery. Changing the way you use your thumbs on a daily basis can go along way in helping to reduce stress and prevent further injury.
Some suggestions to help manage your thumb pain include:
- Choose cooking utensils such as stirring spoons and spatulas with built up handles
- When stirring, hold the spoon in your palm with your fingers wrapped around the handle instead of pinching the spoon with your thumb
- Place both palms underneath plates and trays to support and lift them- rather than grasping sides
- Avoid holding objects for extended periods of time- use bookstands and lap desks when reading
- Use pens that require less pressure to write – gel pens work well with less pressure
- Look for containers that are easier on your thumb. Use canisters that open and close with a light push on the top and bottles with pump dispensers that don’t require you to push with your thumbs
- Electric toothbrushes and screwdrivers reduce stress on the CMC joint by eliminating the need to pinch and twist with your thumb
Consulting with your health care provider and a licensed occupational therapist can provide you with additional pain relieving and strength building strategies to help you with everyday living and get you back to the activities you enjoy.Like what you’ve read? Click here to subscribe to the blog!
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