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With age, comes the unfortunate occurrences of different ailments. Same can be said about thumb arthritis. The basal joint, where the pain usually is present, is at the base of the thumb. This joint is responsible for the thumb's movements. Over time, a lot of wear and tear occurs, and the cartilage which protects this bone deteriorates, resulting in development of arthritis in many people. It is common for people who are suffering from osteoarthritis to have thumb or basal joint arthritis. But how can someone find out if they have basal joint arthritis of the thumb? Simple. Just pinch or grab something with your hand. If you feel any unexplained pain in the base of your thumb or can't pinch something as accurately as you could, then the chances are high. Due to this, you might experience pain and swelling at the joint as well. Which is why, you should consult your doctor immediately and take his / her advice on whether performing certain thumb exercises will be helpful to you or not. If you get a green signal from your doctor, the following exercises can be done.

Exercises to Relieve Pain

As I already mentioned before, these exercises for thumb pain are considered as an alternative treatment method. Apart from physical therapy, certain thumb arthritis exercises can be done on a regular basis. However, this decision of whether or not to indulge in them rests entirely up to you and your doctor. So please consult with him/her and get all the facts and doubts clear before you begin.

Exercise #1
  • Place your hand in front of you (do this exercise on both hands).
  • Face the palm towards you and point the fingers towards the ceiling.
  • Your thumb should point at you. Relax your shoulders.
  • Keep all fingers along with the thumb touching one another.
  • Now extend the thumb from the fingers so that it stretches properly.
  • Extend the thumb as far as you can. Stop when you feel the pain.
  • Keep repeating these steps and keep increasing the stretch as much as you can.
Exercise #2
  • Place your hand in front of you (do this exercise on both hands).
  • Keep your palm facing towards or away from you.
  • Now clench your fingers along with the thumb to make a fist.
  • Slowly, open your fist and spread all fingers and thumb as wide as you can.
  • In the same manner, close the fingers and thumb to make the fist again.
  • Repeat the steps to feel the stretch in your fingers and thumb.
Exercise #3
  • Extend your hand in front of you (do this exercise on both hands).
  • Bring your fingers inside the palm and point your thumb towards the ceiling.
  • With the thumb, you will make the letter 'O'. Do it as slowly as you can.
  • In the same way, you can make the letter 'O' with other fingers as well.
Exercise #4
  • Place your hand in front of you (do this exercise on both hands).
  • Keep the palm facing you and spread all the fingers as wide as you can.
  • Keep your thumb straight and hold it close to the palm, almost touching.
  • Now touch the tip of your thumb to the tip of your index finger.
  • Keep both fingers straight at all times.
  • Slowly do this exercise with all the fingers.
Exercise #5
  • Keep your hand on the table (do this exercise on both hands).
  • Rest your fingertips on the table and relax your shoulders.
  • One by one, lift your fingers and thumb off the table.
  • Raise it as much as you can and try not to lift 2 fingers at a time.
  • Do this exercise as many times as you can during the day; but don't overexert yourself.
Apart from these exercises we discussed in the article, we have a Buzzle article that discusses a few treatment methods. Read the article carefully to find more information to relieve the symptoms.

Even though these exercises are supposed to help strengthen the muscles and make them more flexible, there can be chances that the pain could stay or increase. In such cases, stop the exercises and consult your doctor immediately. Also, if the exercises are helping but after a certain point, pain is experienced due to the exercises, don't push yourself too hard. Remain in your comfort zone while doing these exercises so you don't discomfort yourself.