What is Arthritis of the Thumb?

2 August 2017

Whether it's to open a jar, snap our fingers, or type, we use our thumbs throughout the day without even thinking. But when we suffer from pain and discomfort in the area, we begin to notice how integral they are to our lives. If you've begun to find simple tasks like twisting a doorknob difficult, this might be a sign that you've developed arthritis of the thumb.

What is Arthritis of the Thumb?

Arthritis is a common condition that affects around 10 million people in the UK alone. Although most assume that the condition only affects older people, the condition can affect those of all ages, including children. The condition causes pain and inflammation in your joint(s). Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and your thumb is the most prevalent part of your hand that's affected by the condition.

How Do I Know if I Have Thumb Arthritis?

The most common symptom for thumb arthritis is struggling with simple tasks like typing. When you have arthritis of the thumb, these activities tend to cause a great deal of pain in the area. You might also experience the following issues:

  • Joint tenderness and stiffness
  • Joint inflammation
  • Warm skin around the thumb
  • Muscle wasting
  • Redness in the area
  • Decreased grip strength
  • Decreased range of motion

Causes of the Condition

Arthritis of the thumb tends to occur when the cartilage in your joint breaks down. As cartilage acts as a barrier between two bones to prevent them from rubbing together, the break down of cartilage causes both bones to rub against each other. This leads to the pain, swelling and other symptoms you experience in your thumb.

Some people are more likely to suffer from thumb arthritis than others. This includes:

  • Those who have previously suffered from a thumb injury
  • Women, who are six times more likely to develop the condition
  • The elderly, as cartilage naturally wears down over time
  • Those who have arthritis in other joints
  • Individuals with flexible or lax thumb ligaments

Treatment Options for Arthritis of the Thumb

Although there's no known cure for arthritis of the thumb, you can treat the symptoms of the condition to slow its progress. Treatment often involves:

  • Medication to relieve pain
  • Thumb exercises
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Surgery on the thumb

Medical professionals often recommend that a thumb splint is used to help position your thumb correctly and rest the joint. These supports stabilise the area and most allow you to use your thumbs even with the splint on. The splint is usually worn while you perform other treatments, such as taking medication or performing thumb exercises. As the thumb splint immobilises the area, it helps reduce the discomfort you feel when you perform activities throughout the day.

Arthritis of the Thumb at Wrist Supports

Now that you know about thumb arthritis, you may wonder where to find aids for the condition. At Wrist Supports, our team have selected a number of products that can help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis of the thumb. Whether you want additional protection as you exercise or you want to rest your thumb after a hard day's work, our range of thumb arthritis products can help you.

Please visit Wrist Supports for Arthritis of the Thumb to see our full range of braces for thumb arthritis.

Call us now: 020 7501 0590 Mon - Fri / 9:00am - 5:00pm
Wrist Supports
0 items - £0.00View Basket


on orders of £40 and over.


Read our reviews.


with our 30 day returns policy.