Thumb osteoarthritis, also known as the basal joint arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis that affects the hand, limiting a person from doing the daily chores. This condition develops with the wearing away of the cartilage, which mostly cushions the adjacent ends of the bones that makes the joints of the thumb.
Basal or thumb arthritis leads to severe pain and inflammation of the joints and greatly limits the range of motion. Thumb osteoarthritis can be treated through a number of effective ways such as splints, injections, medication and surgery. Depending on the severity of the condition of your thumb arthritis, doctor can recommend you the best treatment or a combination of different treatments.
Various Treatments For Thumb Osteoarthritis
Splints help improve the painful condition of thumb osteoarthritis by supporting the joints and limiting the movement of the thumb. It greatly helps reduce the pain, allows the damaged joints to rest for some time and encourages the proper positioning of the thumb joints.
Based on the condition of your thumb joints, your doctor may suggest you to wear the splint during the day or all the time during the day and night. Initially, it may appear to be a nuisance but once you get used to it, the pain will subside and you will begin to recognize the effects of wearing splints for treating the thumb osteoarthritis.
Medications are considered to be the immediate way of treating the pain and discomfort that occur in thumb osteoarthritis. Many doctors recommend different oral or topical medicines such as acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or COX-2 inhibitors.
These medicines aim to reduce the pain and inflammation and provide you with some amount of temporary relief from the chronic arthritis. It is always good to consult a doctor as soon as the problem begins, as it becomes easy to diagnose and treat this ailment in its early stages than treating it in its advanced stages.
When different analgesics and wearing splints do not work, many doctors suggest taking corticosteroid directly into the thumb joints through injections. This may be a little painful but offers relief and help decrease the inflammation of the joints.
If thumb arthritis is diagnosed in its early stages, then you might help improve the condition without a surgery, however, in severe cases, a doctor resort to surgery as the last choice of treatment.
You can consult the doctor about the various pros and cons of a thumb surgery. Some of the common types of thumb surgery include joint fusion, osteotomy and joint replacement. After the thumb surgery, you may still need to wear a splint or cast for about five to six weeks.Later, the doctor may also suggest you to take several physical therapy sessions to regain the flexibility and strength of your hands. The recovery might be slow but your condition would certainly improve within the next six months of your thumb surgery.
When most of the treatments do not seem to work, people resort to alternative treatments such as acupuncture, tai chi, yoga and chiropractic care. Acupuncture is one of the most effective ways of treating different forms of pain that often develop due to arthritis. In addition, you may also practice different exercises and yoga asana to get some relief from the basal arthritis.