Thumb arthritis, also known as the arthritis of the basal joint is a chronic ailment that primarily affects the movement of the thumb and causes joint troubles in doing daily chores. This ailment mostly strikes the base of your thumb, thereby reducing its flexibility and strength.
It develops due to the overuse of the thumb as the cartilages begin to wear away with time and growing age. It may lead to joint pain and swelling in the affected thumb. In addition, it may also limit the range of motion and may need thorough checkup and treatment. Understanding various symptoms of thumb arthritis can help you ascertain when to keep patience and when to consult the doctor.
Different Symptoms of Thumb Arthritis
Pain is one of the main symptoms of thumb arthritis. It usually develops while doing any activity that involves the movement of the thumb and subsides with rest. However, gradually it begins to trouble even when you are at rest and in fact the pain can sometimes get worse with rest.
You may experience a sharp pain in the thumb, especially at the base when you try to grip or grasp anything between the thumb and your forefinger. It may also occur when you apply force using your thumb like turning the key or the knob of the door or try to open a jar.
Crepitus is yet another symptom of thumb arthritis. It is a squeaking sound coming from the joints of the thumb that becomes obvious when the articular cartilage begins to wear away from the surface of the joint.
Stiffness and Tenderness
Stiff joints of the thumb are often observed in the basal thumb arthritis, making it a common thumb arthritis symptom. The stiffness makes it difficult for the patient to even move the thumb away from your palm. In medical terms it is known as a contracture. In addition, you may also experience tenderness in thumb.
Swelling of the thumb joints is considered to be an important symptom of thumb arthritis. This often increases with activities during the onset of the ailment but could get worse with the growing age and you may experience inflammation even while at rest.
If you observe this symptom for a long time, it may be required to consult a doctor without ignoring the situation, for it could get worse and lead to fatal consequences when left untreated.
You may experience reduced strength in the affected thumb, when you try to pinch or grasp any objects with your hand. This is one of the early signs of thumb arthritis and it is essential not to ignore it and get medical help immediately.
Enlarged or Bony Joint
Enlarged and bony thumb joint is one of the most important symptoms of thumb arthritis. Many times, the joint at the base of the thumb may appear dysfunctional and abnormally enlarged, making it an important symptom of thumb arthritis.
Decreased Range of Motion
The decreased or limited range of motion is also an important symptom of thumb arthritis that could bring a lot of discomfort. It may cause problems in typing on the computer as well as performing daily work.