CMC arthritis is a painful condition that affects the thumb joint. It can cause limited mobility, stiffness, and pain in the affected area. Living with CMC arthritis can be difficult and make everyday tasks more challenging. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the severity of symptoms and improve mobility in your hands. This article will explore how to alleviate pain and improve mobility in your hands if you suffer from CMC arthritis.
1. Start Exercising
Regular exercise has been shown to help alleviate pain and increase mobility in people with CMC arthritis. Low-impact aerobic activities such as swimming or walking can help to keep the joints flexible and reduce inflammation. Stretching exercises, such as yoga or tai chi, can help to strengthen muscles around the thumb joint and improve the range of motion.
2. Modify Activities
The first step for relieving pain and improving mobility for those with CMC arthritis is to modify activities that may be causing flare-ups or worsening your symptoms. Activities such as gripping objects tightly or twisting your wrist should be avoided whenever possible. Instead, focus on using a light touch when performing everyday tasks. Additionally, you should take frequent breaks throughout the day and make sure to stretch your hands regularly.
Another way to reduce pain associated with CMC arthritis is by using a splint or brace to provide extra support for your thumb joint. This can help limit the movement of the joint while still allowing you to perform daily activities. You may also find relief from over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. However, if symptoms persist after trying these methods, it is important to speak with a doctor about other treatment options that may be available.
4. Lifestyle Changes
Making simple lifestyle changes such as reducing stress levels, practicing good posture when using computers or mobile devices, avoiding repetitive motions with your hands, and wearing protective gear when engaging in activities that could worsen your pain can help prevent further damage and improve mobility.
5. Medical Treatments
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or aspirin can be used to reduce inflammation, decrease pain, and improve range of motion. Physical therapy may also be recommended to strengthen the muscles around the affected joints and increase flexibility. Steroid injections may also help reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility.
6. Physical Therapy
In addition to medication and braces, physical therapy can be beneficial in helping those with CMC arthritis improve their range of motion and reduce pain. Through physical therapy, individuals can learn how to properly perform certain exercises that can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the thumb joint and improve flexibility in the area.
7. Use Assistive Devices
There are many assistive devices available that can make life easier for people with CMC arthritis. Thick pens, easy-grip utensils, tubing door handles, or ergonomic keyboards can all help to reduce strain on the thumb joint. You may also want to look into splints or braces to provide support and stability for your hand.
Living with CMC arthritis can be difficult, but it is important to remember that there are ways to relieve pain and improve mobility. By exercising, modifying activities, using a splint or brace when necessary, taking medications as prescribed by a doctor, and participating in physical therapy, those with CMC arthritis can find relief from symptoms and regain control of their hands. With the right treatment plan and some patience, anyone suffering from CMC arthritis can reclaim their quality of life.