Osteoarthritis - fingers/thumbs

Good morning everyone,

Im in

my late 30s and have developed osteoarthritis In my finger and thumb PIP joints due to my role as a masseur over many years.

This condition is still in its infancy, though they are painful when it is cold, and painful for a day or two after work such as heavy gripping etc. I’m worried naturally that I’m very young to have this so worry about the condition when I’m 20 years older!

I was just wondering if anyone can share their experiences on living with the condition, or any hints and tips?

will frequent finger exercises help slow progression?

Are pain killers Something you use?

Has anyone had joint replacement surgery ?

Thanks in advance


  • Chris_R
    Chris_R Moderator Posts: 764
    edited 28. Sep 2020, 10:39

    Hi @richardarthritis

    Welcome to the Arthritis Community and your summary of your arthritis.

    You say you have arthritis in the finger and thumb joints,me to I do finger exercises which help with the stiffness but not the pain as you say when it is cold.

    You are as you say quite young to suffer from Arthritis and you hopefully be able to interact with the younger element on the forums.

    I sometimes use painkillers when it is but just paracetamol and I have a wax bath kit which is very good . https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/hand-and-wrist-pain/

    Above is a link that might help you.

    Meanwhile just have a look round the forums and chat to others for more information.The most popular Forums are Living with Arthritis, Chit Chat and Vals café

    All the best and do lets us know how you are getting on



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  • N1gel
    N1gel Member Posts: 158

    I know what you mean, I've got OA in right thumb and left elbow having been on crutches for 20 years (no one told me about the risk of OA in my joints).

    I think I must have had the OA latent in my right thumb for about 10 years because I remember someone shaking my hand too firmly about then and the pain was intense. However, I've avoided him since and not really had any problems until earlier this year when low level pain became continuous. I use my fingers hard every day (I'm a sculptor) but I find I instinctively avoid the painful actions by compensating with pressure from another digit.

    I did read something recently on a reputable health authority site about very successful injections into the thumb joint that weren't steroids but did something useful to the cartilage, sadly I can't remember anything more - perhaps this will jog someone else's memory!

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,016

    Hi @richardarthritis

    Nice to meet you sorry to hear about your fingers and thumb joint. Nasty.

    Personally i found with those digits on the whole I've been very lucky. Extra pain for a while rest and painkillers after a few months then it eases off. No idea why it might be as N1gel says you find ways to avoid using those joints🤔

    You can actively plan to avoid stressing those joints - maybe lifting heaving bags on your forearm for instance?

    Some people here use warm wax baths to soothe their fingers and hands maybe this could help you?

    Down the line a way you may be offered steroid injections into the joints affected or even some on her have had finger joint replacements. Many have had thumb surgeries (Trapeziectomy) on here.

    Put it in the search button left hand side of page above yellow 'discussion' button.

    Do keep in touch

    take care