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Osteoarthritis (OA) is the loss of the smooth cartilage surface covering a joint. The bony surfaces also start to thicken and can grow outwards (spurs). In severe cases the cartilage can become so thin that it causes the bones to grind against each other. All of this can result in pain, swelling and stiffness at a joint/s.

How can Hand Therapy help for the following joints?

THUMB

The most common joint affected with OA is the base of the thumb. You may notice a change in the shape of your thumb, as well as difficulty with pinching and gripping due to pain.

Hand therapy treatment will maintaining movement and functional use of the hand, as well as managing pain and other symptoms. Your therapist may advise you on splinting, assistive devices and activity modification, to help you manage your daily life.

Link for OA thumb booklet:

OA of the Thumb

Link for OA thumb exercises:

OA thumb exercises

 

DIGITS

The most common joints affected are the first and second knuckles of your finger. You may notice small painful bony bumps forming on the outside of these joints.

Hand therapy treatment will involve maintaining movement and functional use of the hand, as well as managing pain and other symptoms. Your therapist may advise you on assistive devices and activity modification, to help you manage your daily life.

Link for OA on terminal joint handout:

Terminal joint OA

 

Useful Links: https://www.versusarthritis.org/