Physical Therapy Treatment for Thumb Arthritis
Arthritis of the thumb can result in pain, tenderness and/or stiffness at the base of the thumb. Patients often report difficulty with pinching and gripping, such as twisting a key, using scissors and opening jars. Patients often present with decreased mobility and strength at their thumb joint.
Physical Therapy treatment includes:
- Mobilizations to the thumb joint
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Dry needling to the thumb muscles
- Strengthening exercises
- Thumb stretches
- Gripping exercises
To assess your progress with physical therapy, we will look at the strength of your thumb (see picture below), monitor your range of motion and track the progress you make towards your individualized goals. An example of this may include not feeling any pain or weakness when squeezing objects between your thumb and second finger.
De Quervain’s syndrome is an irritation of two tendons that can result in pain and tenderness on the thumb side of the wrist. It occurs when the tendons at the wrist become irritated due to repeated hand or wrist movements. Pain is often reproduced with resisted movements of the thumb.