Hand osteoarthritis

Tessybear Member Posts: 3
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:11 in Living with arthritis

Hi all, thanks for letting me join the site. I have been diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in my base of my thumb, quite shocked when I looked at the x-ray how bad it was. It's on my leading hand which is a challenge at the moment. Any tips on making life easier I would really appreciate, feel abit over welcomed at the moment.


  • Chris_R
    Chris_R Moderator Posts: 768
    edited 25. Sep 2023, 21:58

    Hi @Tessybear

    welcome to the online community,great you have joined.

    You write that you have been diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis of the base of your thumb and as it is in your leading hand a challenge to you personally and you would like some tips from others.

    Hope this link helps in some way.please let us know how you get on and chatting to others on our forums will help and will get the support you need.

    All the best Christine

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

  • Tessybear
    Tessybear Member Posts: 3

    Thanks Christine for the information very much appreciated


  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 391

    Hi @Tessybear

    I have had arthritis in my hands and wrists for a long time with a trapeziectomy in 2020.

    A few tips that I found to work best for me after a lot of pain, trial and error that you might find useful

    Don't waste your money, or time, on creams. We are constantly washing our hands so it's literally pouring money down the drain.

    Hot and cold work well. I find using hot hands or little hotties brilliant. They're air activated packets of loveliness. You can try them as a packet of two from most shops and if they work for you, buy then in bulk from online shops. A lot cheaper that way too. Putting them inside a pair of fingerless gloves enabled me to continue working as a PA using a keyboard all day. They last about 12 hours. Handy also for just squeezing when watching TV. You can get rechargeable ones but these do get extremely hot and you couldn't keep them in your gloves all day. Far too big. When you wash your hands plunge them into a sink of cold water for a couple of minutes. . This improves your circulation in your hands. You could also freeze the expired hot hands/little hotties in a plastic bag in a freezer for the cold option.

    Compression gloves never worked for me. I have a lovely lady who makes me pretty fingerless gloves. You can also get cheapish thermal fingerless gloves from outdoor shops which are very good

    Purchase some therapy putty and balls. They come in different strengths and brilliant for sitting and playing with, kneading, pulling, squeezing and stretching while reading or watching tv. Start with the softest. The balls are egg shaped and perfect for fiddling with. Both of these strengthen your hands

    My kindle became my best friend as I can listen to books instead of having to hold one physically. I much prefer real books but I just can't hold then anymore

    If you must wear a splint, don't wear it all day. You must keep your hands moving, sounds daft but when something hurts we protect it. Don't buy the ones that go halfway up your arm either. Go for one that wraps around your wrist and across the palm and the thumb. Available as left or right. The ones I use are by atesso and are brilliant and reasonably priced. Other makes are available

    Exercises can be as easy as sliding your thumb down your little finger and moving across your fingers. Pick up small things by pinching your fingers - buttons, marbles, coins etc. Alternate this with sliding them to the edge if the table to pick them up. Jigsaws are brilliant therapy! I've spent many sleepless nights doing these when my hands are bad.

    If you have a double sink, place your kettle between them to fill it . Hug a cold kettle to carry from a to b

    Don't carry heavy things or plates of food in one hand. Use both!

    Don't be too embarrassed to get someone to cut your food up. This can be one of the most painful things to do and was hard for me to ask for help with - especially in a restaurant. We are also allowed to drop our table manners to just use a fork when you're having a really bad day.

    If you have to have an injection into your hand ask if it can be guided rather than freehand. The first one I had was so painful I ended up collapsing in pain when I got home. You'll have to wait a bit longer for it but trust me, it's worth it.

    These are just a few suggestions for you to try. Please tag or message me if you need any help or support. I promise to get back to you asap if you

    love n hugs

    Trish xx