Self help v physio visit?

Moolin Member Posts: 4
edited 7. Sep 2023, 13:28 in Chat to our Helpline Team

My GP said that I have osteoarthritis in my thumbs, though he didn’t do a physical examination, probably because I was pain with tendonitis in my hand. Now I am better, through time, kindness to my hands by avoiding painful tasks, and by doing exercises, but, nevertheless I notice my non-injured hand is not improving at the same rate, with a slight difference in range of movement and slight swelling. I live in an area where you can self refer to an NHS physio, but there are no appointments at the moment. I am not sure if this is something that I should be pursuing, I don’t want to be someone stretching the service and making it harder for people in greater need, but at the same time I don’t want to not do something that may have improved my situation for the future. Also I am unsure that physiotherapy (and a firm diagnosis) would actually make a difference.


  • Naomi33
    Naomi33 Moderator Posts: 151

    Sorry to hear

    I went through doctor and eventually RA consultant at hospital.

    I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis at my last visit in fingers/wrist and elbow.

    I was advised by consultant it would be 18 months before I would be seen by a physiotherpist.

    So I decided to help myself and joined pain management groups which are really good and improved my ability.

    Attached link maybe of help ??

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Moolin
    Moolin Member Posts: 4
    edited 7. Sep 2023, 14:08

    Thank you Naomi33. An 18 month wait! Oh my! I’m glad you had good results from the pain management group. Perhaps I should pay for private physio as to be honest, pain isn’t my worry at the moment, it’s more concern to avoiding getting more tendon problems and to make sure I am doing all that I can to avoid getting worse. I am anxious as I am trying to turn a hobby into a business, and it is potentially hard on my hands.

  • Naomi33
    Naomi33 Moderator Posts: 151

    Well if you have not be referred by doctor yet.

    I would go private and at least you will have some help and advice now with tendons.

    Especially if you are setting up new business !!

    Hope you get sorted soon.

    Take care @Naomi33

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Hi @Moolin

    Thank you for your posting on the online community. I am glad to hear that you are better but that your non injured hand is not improving at the same rate and you are wondering about the benefits of seeing a physiotherapist. Generally exercise is beneficial for arthritis and seeing a physiotherapist will enable you to receive specific exercises appropriate for your condition and can discuss the benefits of this. You could also ask your GP about referral to a hand therapist who are occupational therapists or physiotherapists who have done further training to specialise in treating conditions affecting the hands, arms and shoulders.

    You may benefit from talking this over with your GP along with clarification of your diagnosis. You could consider using pain relief medication or gels and creams such as Capsaicin cream. This often helps when other pain-relieving creams or gels haven't. It's made from the pepper plant and is available on prescription.


    I have put some links with further information that I hope may be of help to you.

    Hand Therapists

    Hand and Wrist Pain

    Osteoarthritis of the hand and wrist

    Best Wishes


    Helpline Advisor