Hand pain, loss of grip strength: how to prevent arthritis in the hands? How to relieve arthritis pain in the thumb joint? It begins with better knowledge of the disease.
Too often, developing arthritis is considered to be related to age. However, the first signs of thumb basal joint arthritis can manifest as early as 45 years of age approximately. The onset of this condition can be delayed or its effects can be limited by following good practices. EPITACT® gives you some examples to avoid wear and tear of the joint and to relieve arthritis pain in the hands.
How to prevent arthritis in the hands and thumbs? Focus on movements!
This is especially when pain occurs that we really become aware of the function of our body. Generally, our movements are intuitive. However, by paying attention to biomechanics, you can preserve your joints.
Indeed, thumb arthritis is caused by repetitive traumatic movements that damage your joint overtime. If you stop or limit those movements, you also prevent arthritis pain in your hands.
Use ergonomic tools to relieve arthritis pain in the thumb joint
Because many traumatic movements are part of daily living (work, sport, hobbies…), it is important to think about ergonomics. It helps you to adopt good postures and to realise movements better in order to rest your joints.
Equip yourself with adapted tools; it prevents arthritis pain and also improves daily comfort. It can simply consist of having adaptive scissors or an ergonomic bread knife to limit stress to the joint and relieve arthritis pain in the hands. You can seek advice from an occupational therapist.
Preventing and relieving arthritis pain in the thumb joint with orthopaedic devices
As we said above, resting your thumb is very important if you want to limit joint overuse. To do so, the secret is to keep your thumb aligned with your forearm as much as possible. Indeed, this position is neutral and does not cause any stress on the affected joint at the base of the thumb.
However, this is quite simple at night, but not much during the day, when doing our daily tasks and activities. This is why EPITACT® has created a complementary solution to prevent and relieve arthritis pain in the thumb joint both day and night.
The EPITACT® thumb support for day
The thumb support for day* developed by EPITACT®prevents arthritis pain in the thumb during your activities. It is totally flexible and ultrathin so it never impedes your movements, contrary to rigid splints.
This device has been patented, because it has a very special design that helps your thumb to return to a resting position, i.e. aligned with the first metatarsal and straight. The fabric that wraps the thumb also contributes to reducing daily micromovements.
The EPITACT® thumb brace for night
The thumb brace for night* completely rests the joint and relieves arthritis pain in the thumb joint. It limits thumb movements by immobilising it in a neutral position thanks to semi-rigid reinforcements. A gripping strap has been integrated at the base of the reinforcements to create a fixed point and facilitate adjustment to the wrist.
As you see it, there are several medical treatments for pain relief for arthritis in the thumb joint. They can be medical, pharmacological or surgical to avoid worsening of the condition. Surgery will be considered only if previous treatments have proved insufficient.
Doing exercises improves thumb pain and stiffness
See a physiotherapist to learn some hand exercises that will improve your range of motion. He also tells you how many times a day you should do them.
Take anti-inflammatory medication
There is no cure for arthritis but medication helps to manage pain and inflammation. Indeed, anti-inflammatory drugs reduce inflammation and relieve arthritis pain in the hands and fingers joints.
As you see it, there are several medical treatments, potentially pharmacological or surgical to avoid worsening of the condition. Surgery will be considered only if previous treatments have proved insufficient.
To learn more about the treatments of thumb osteoarthritis, three articles give recommendations on its main and associated treatments: recommendations of the European League Against Rheumatism 2007(1), updated in 2018(2) and those of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) published in 2012(3).
*These solutions are class I medical devices that bear the CE marking under this regulation. Carefully read the instructions before use. Manufacturer: Millet Innovation. 03/2022
For more details about this general and simplified approach, here are further sources:
(1)Zhang, W, M Doherty, B F Leeb, L Alekseeva, N K Arden, J W Bijlsma, F Dincer, et al. 05/2007 « EULAR Evidence Based Recommendations for the Management of Hand Osteoarthritis: Report of a Task Force of the EULAR Standing Committee for International Clinical Studies Including Therapeutics (ESCISIT) ». Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 66 (3): 377‑88.
(2)Kloppenburg, Margreet, Féline PB Kroon, Francisco J Blanco, Michael Doherty, Krysia S Dziedzic, Elsie Greibrokk, Ida K Haugen, et al. 05/2019 « 2018 Update of the EULAR Recommendations for the Management of Hand Osteoarthritis ». Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 78 (1): 16‑24
(3)Hochberg, Marc C., Roy D. Altman, Karine Toupin April, Maria Benkhalti, Gordon Guyatt, Jessie McGowan, Tanveer Towheed, Vivian Welch, George Wells, et Peter Tugwell. 05/2012 « American College of Rheumatology 2012 Recommendations for the Use of Nonpharmacologic and Pharmacologic Therapies in Osteoarthritis of the Hand, Hip, and Knee ». Arthritis Care & Research 64 (4): 465‑74