Treating CMC Arthritis With Occupational Therapy

Arthritis is a common condition that affects people all around the world. One specific type of arthritis, known as Carpometacarpal (CMC) arthritis, can make everyday activities difficult due to the pain it causes in the base of the thumb. But here’s some good news: occupational therapy can be a game-changer for those dealing with CMC arthritis. In this post, we will explore what CMC arthritis is, its impact on daily life, and how occupational therapy can provide much-needed relief and help regain independence.

Understanding CMC Arthritis

So what is CMC arthritis? This type of arthritis affects the joint at the base of the thumb, where the thumb bone connects to the wrist bones. Imagine how often you use your thumbs for writing, picking up small objects, or simply buttoning your shirt. When CMC arthritis strikes, it can cause pain, stiffness, and limit your thumb’s movement. Even though CMC arthritis is more common in older adults, it can affect people of all ages. While there can be a few different reasons why someone would develop CMC arthritis, it is often caused due to repetitive use of the thumb over many years. When you have CMC arthritis, everyday tasks like holding a pen or opening a jar can be very painful and tricky. The pain and discomfort from CMC arthritis can impact your life in many ways. But don’t worry; occupational therapy is here to help!

How Occupational Therapy Helps

Occupational therapists are experts at finding creative ways to help people do the things they want and need to do in their daily lives. Your therapist would work with you on things like:

  •  Pain Management: Occupational therapists can teach you exercises and techniques to reduce pain and swelling in your thumb joint. They might use heat or cold treatments to make your thumb feel better too.

  • Custom Splints: Your therapist can create special splints or braces that support your thumb and help it move without hurting. These splints restrict movement, allowing your thumb to take a break!

  • Technique Training: They’ll show you new and easier ways to do everyday tasks. For example, they might teach you how to hold a pencil differently so you can keep drawing or writing without pain.

  • Adaptive Tools: Sometimes, you therapist will recommend special tools or gadgets that make tasks simpler.

  • Exercises: Occupational therapists can guide you through hand exercises to keep your thumb joint strong and flexible. Along with working in clinic, they will also provide you with exercises and techniques to use at home to keep your joint mobile.

The Journey to Relief

Our therapists are with you every step of the way when recovering from CMC arthritis or any other condition. Contact us today to schedule your appointment in any of our Metro-Detroit clinics!

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