What’s Basal Joint Arthritis?

Wear and tear are common as we age, be it teeth or other parts of the body such as bone joints. With time you may feel that the cartilage on the thumb base goes under inflammation and starts breaking down. This condition is known as basal joint arthritis.

It is a painful condition that makes performing mundane tasks pretty difficult and lowers the quality of life. People may not be able to identify this pain in the thumb, but if it’s linked to arthritis, the best approach is to target the root cause for alleviating pain.

Basal Joint Arthritis?

Basal joint arthritis, just like any other form of osteoarthritis, develops as soon as the cartilage present between the bones start wearing off. In this condition, cartilage degeneration results in the metacarpal bone popping out of its joint along with the wrist. This type of arthritis usually begins when people hit the 40 to 50-year mark.

What Are The Symptoms Of Basal Joint Arthritis?

The most commonly occurring symptom of this condition is dull pain at the base of the thumb. This discomfort increases with activity and, luckily, gets better with rest. Individuals may also suffer from thumb swelling, Grip strength loss, motion difficulties, and stiff hands in the morning.

Treatment of Basal Thumb Joint Arthritis

Regular remedies for this issue are:

  • Icing of the joint
  • Intake of anti-inflammatory medicines
  • A supportive gear goes a long way.
  • Cortisone injections into the joint for pain relief
  • Surgical intervening options include bone fuse of those which make up the basal joint, or the doctor can also advise going for a reconstructing process.

The first line of treatment is always the conservative methods mentioned above. If none of those work, then the doctors resort to surgery. The good news is that they are usually successful

Do Hand Exercises Help?

Since, in this condition, the cartilage tends to slip out of the joint gripping and pinching can aggravate the pain in basal arthritis patients. So, exercises involving squeezing a ball or anything similar must not be done. On the contrary, what you can do is try gentle motions in warm water; small circular motions to decrease morning stiffness. You can also reach out to therapists to provide you with exercises appropriate for basal joint arthritis.

What Is Joint Protection Education?

Since arthritis of the basal joint (thumb) is a chronic condition, you must know the importance of protecting the area. Ask your therapist to research the products and techniques useful to decrease stress on the joint.


Symptoms of basal thumb arthritis increase multi-fold with forceful or repetitive pinching, forceful grasping, or twisting. Therefore, it is better not to use devices like an electric can opener or tools that may hurt your thumb joints. Doctors at Rheumatology Care of North Houstonare experts in this matter. Call 832 532 9779 for a consultation today.

Disclaimer - Use At Your Own Risk :- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs are strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.
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