The smaller joints of our hand and thumb are very mobile and struggle to manage the high forces applied through them during our gripping and pinching tasks over the course of a lifetime.
Additionally, joint replacement surgery in the hand for severe osteoarthritis is generally less robust and successful, when compared to the bigger joints such as our hip and knee.
Hence, for osteoarthritis of the hands and thumbs we experience pain which can ultimately lead to loss of function.
We are forced to adapt and live with our arthritis, and this is where the team at Sandhurst Specialist Hand Clinic can help. You can live well with arthritis!
There is now at least moderate strength research evidence to support the use of the several treatment strategies. We’ve attached a couple of research articles below for your reference.
- Use of moist heat wraps, packs and paraffin baths for pain relief. Some people purchase and use a paraffin bath at home during the winter months.
- Joint protection education and advice around adaptive equipment. Simple changes to the way you do tasks or trialing equipment such as a rocker knife allows the body to use bigger muscles and joints to “protect” the small ones of the hand. Solutions will be tailored to your specific functional issues after discussion with your therapist.
- Strength and upper limb conditioning has moderate evidence to show reduced pain and improved grip and pinch strength for those with osteoarthritis. We can help you design or link into the right program for you.
- Use of splints to support painful joints can make a big difference, even for short term use. In particular, for those with painful thumbs of the CMC joints, splinting can be highly effective to reduce pain, improve function and pinch strength. The “Push” splints are small, effective and very durable. Your therapist will custom fit or custom make the right splint for you.
You can live well with arthritis and here at Sandhurst Specialist Hand Clinic, for patients in Bendigo, Castlemaine, Echuca, Swan Hill and anywhere in between – we can help you. Give our friendly staff a call, or lodge an enquiry online via the website.