Have you experienced consistent pain or stiffness in the base of your thumb, wrist or fingers while doing everyday activities? If so, you are not alone. Around 25% of the population has some form of arthritis, with one of the most common areas being the wrist and hand. Most individuals believe there is nothing they can do and will just have to live with pain. While there is no cure for arthritis, there are many ways to treat and manage symptoms.
Arthritis is classified as a condition that affects the joints. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis, with the most common types of arthritis including:
If you suspect you have arthritis, follow up with your physician or a Rheumatologist. A Rheumatologist specializes in treating arthritic conditions. After receiving a diagnosis, your physician will determine the best course of treatment. Treatment options may include referral to physical/occupational therapy, medication, injections or surgical intervention.
If your physician prescribes physical or occupational therapy for arthritis of the hand or wrist, a Certified Hand Therapist is your best resource. A Certified Hand Therapist is a sub-specialty that requires additional education due to the complexity of the upper extremities.
Some of the ways therapy can help may include:
-Splinting/bracing for either day and/or nighttime
-Assistive device education to enhance independence with day-to-day functional tasks
-Education in joint protection techniques to ease pressure on the joints
-Pain management techniques
-Instruct on a home program for range of motion, stretching and strengthening exercises if indicated
We are very fortunate to have one of the most respected Certified Hand Therapists in our region of the country right on our team. When you or someone you care about needs help with this condition, consider allowing us to help.