Thumb Arthritis

What is Thumb Arthritis?

Arthritis is a condition that irritates or wears down a joint. Thumb arthritis occurs when cartilage wears away from the ends of the bones that form your thumb joint. This joint is known as your carpometacarpal (CMC) joint.


Osteoarthritis of the base of the thumb is the most common site for arthritis in the hand.

Thumb Arthritis Symptoms

The most common symptoms include:


  • Swelling and tenderness at the base of the thumb
  • Aching discomfort after prolonged use
  • Loss of strength when gripping or pinching
  • A small bump at the base of the thumb


These symptoms make it difficult to do everyday tasks, such as turning doorknobs and opening jars.

Therapist Georgia McGuinness discusses thumb pain and how online video consultations (Telehealth) can be used in the treatment and recovery process.

How is Arthritis Assessed?

Your therapist will use several techniques to determine whether you have thumb arthritis. These include:


  • Asking you about symptoms, prior injuries or activities that aggravate the area.
  • Palpation of the thumb joints
  • Measuring how much movement you have in your thumb
  • Assessing your pain level
  • Assessing your grip and strength

Arthritis Treatment

Treatment for thumb arthritis usually involves a combination of splinting and exercise. If conservative treatments do not resolve the symptoms, surgery may be suggested.


The most common treatments are:


What’s next?

If you have any of these symptoms, consult one of our hand therapy practitioners today.


Click HERE to conveniently book an appointment online.


For enquiries and appointments please call 03 9458 5166 or conveniently book online.