What is Basal Joint Arthritis?

31 July 2017

The joint at the base of the thumb is particularly prone to wear and tear from normal use of the hand, which can often lead to basal joint arthritis, the most common type of arthritis of the hand. Here at WristSupports.co.uk we have prepared a short guide to help you learn more about the condition and find the right path to your recovery.

What is Basal Joint Arthritis?

Basal joint arthritis is a common condition that affects the base of the thumb where it connects to the wrist. As the basal joint allows the thumb to move around, not having complete control over your thumb can have a huge impact on performing everyday tasks, such as gripping, pinching or clasping.

Basal Joint Arthritis

Symptoms of Basal Joint Arthritis

Hand Pain and Stiffness

Pain, tenderness and stiffness are usually the first signs of basal arthritis and most noticeable when you are trying to grip, pinch or clasp something between your thumb and index finger. 

Decreased Strength and Range of Motion

As the condition progresses, the pain may restrict your range of motion. You may find it increasingly difficult to hold a drink, use buttons, zippers and snaps.

Symptom Appearance

Eventually the thumb might start to appear swollen, mainly at the base, or even develop a bump. The base of the thumb may also become enlarged and improperly aligned, as the joint shifts from its normal position.

Our Wrist Supports for Basal Joint Arthritis

What Causes Basal Joint Arthritis?

Basal arthritis is generally caused by usual wear and tear that happens when the cartilage in the thumb joint deteriorates. It can also occur as the result of a trauma to the thumb joint, such as a fall on the hands or a blow to the base of the thumb.

Treating Basal Joint Arthritis

Basal joint arthritis can be treated very similarly than most types of arthritis. If the pain is not too severe, start by simply avoiding repetitive movements that involve pinching or twisting. If the pain and discomfort worsen, try over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medication. 

Surgery should always be the last resort to treat basal arthritis. It will decrease pain, but leave you with severely impaired flexibility of the thumb.

A splint is the most effective non-invasive treatment that provides temporary support for the thumb and wrist, as well as limit movement so your joint can rest. It can even help to train the joints back into the correct position.

Make sure you check out our broad range of Wrist Supports for Basal Joints Arthritis.


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