6 predisposing factors to arthritic thumb

rhizarthrosis / arthritic thumb 6 predisposing factors

Rhizarthrosis means thumb osteoarthritis and more precisely osteoarthritis of the trapeziometacarpal joint . This condition mostly affects women from 50. Most of the time, rhizarthrosis starts by the dominant hand, but both hands are affected in the majority of cases. Many factors can be at the root of it: genetic factors, menopause or repetitive movements seem to be causing its appearance. Find out the 6 main aggravating factors of rhizarthrosis in order to fight them better.


The 6 main predisposing factors to rhizarthrosis appearance

  1. Age. The prevalence of thumb osteoarthritis increases from 50 years old. The reason is simple: ageing affects the whole body, including the cartilages, which wear out naturally over time. This wear and tear leads to rubbing between two bones: the trapezium and the metacarpal bone, causing pain in a long term.
  2. Hormonal factor. Menopause in particular, by the women once more, unfortunately… Oestrogens have protective effects on the cartilage . With age, hormone levels decrease: this process favours thumb osteoarthritis .
  3. Genetic factor (family disposition). If someone in your family is suffering from arthritic thumb, chances are that you will suffer from this condition too. Feel free to complain to them!
  4. Hard manual work. If in your youth or in your daily life, you had or have a manual work such as cabinetmaking, sewing, gardening, etc., the repetitive and meticulous movements can damage your thumb joint . Moreover, if you add hard working conditions: cold, moisture… those are even more risk factors.
  5. Traumatic factor (e.g.: fracture or sprain consequences). If you had unfortunate experiences with your thumb in the past (fracture, sprain ) and that your physiotherapy hasn’t been optimal, this can later pass on your joint through a thumb osteoarthritis .
  6. Joint hypermobility. If you are flexible by nature, in the joint sense of the term, your joint will suffer from it as you grow older.
Causes & aggravating factors

Solutions against the risk factors of thumb osteoarthritis

No matter the cause, the EPITACT® solutions prevent and relieve the pain related to thumb osteoarthritis . The objectives of the braces developed by EPITACT® to fight against rhizarthrosis are different according to the design. The rigid thumb brace* is intended to be worn at night or during resting periods. In addition, the flexible thumb brace* has been created for day use or during activities. The first brace immobilises the trapeziometacarpal joint and relieves pain. The second one soothes joint pain without limiting the mobility of the hand's function (especially the thumb-index pinch). 


In conclusion, there are numerous causes of arthritis and predisposing factors of its appearance and/or its worsening. Know how to identify them in order to avoid them better!

Related article: 7 advice to fight against rhizarthrosis

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