Thumb joint (Trapeziofirst-metacarpal joint)
The joint is mainly affected by osteoarthritis and the condition is common in middle-aged women. It’s usually as a result of overuse; especially with the thumb in the stretched back position. X-ray confirms the diagnosis as well as squeezing the joint surfaces together. The patient complains of pain and tenderness at the base of the thumb and on using the thumb for writing, gripping, unscrewing jars etc.
Physiotherapy can help by using a specific massage technique called frictions across the front of the joint and by stretching the joint by pulling on the thumb itself. Patients can be shown how to do that at home too. Ice and electrotherapy may be used, with advice on how to avoid aggravating activities. The joint can also be injected with steroid that reduces the inflammation and pain within the joint.
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