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Hand and wrist Arthritis



Some areas of the hand and wrist are vulnerable to arthritis. One particular area is the base of the thumb. Sometimes it presents as swelling, pain with activity, or both. If you are experiencing pain, stiffness, or swelling with use of your thumb or other fingers, please contact our office for an appointment.

Hand and Wrist Arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) of the hand and wrist commonly affects adults over 40 years old. Symptoms usually include joint pain and stiffness. Sometimes individuals notice bony enlargements of the fingers and hands. 

Sometimes inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis can cause swelling, warmth, and pain in certain joints of the hand and usually affects both hands.

A common area to develop arthritis pain of the hand and wrist is at the base of the thumb.  Certain occupations that require a lot of pinching and fine motor movements can lead to arthritis, stiffness, and swelling at the base of the thumb.  This seems to affect women more than men and can make repetitive tasks like typing, use of a smartphone, and even daily tasks like eating and brushing teeth painful.  

It is important for a sports medicine specialist or hand specialist to carefully evaluate the painful hand by examining its range of motion, strength, and checking for areas of swelling.

Depending on what is noted after a careful history and exam, it may be necessary to perform imaging tests like x-rays and ultrasound. It could also be important to check certain laboratory tests. 

Treatment options include oral or topical medications, bracing, therapeutic exercises, injections, and sometimes surgery.  

If you are experiencing chronic pain, stiffness, or swelling with use of your hand or wrist, it could be due to arthritis.  Contact our sports injury specialist at Sports Health Northwest for an appointment to help you determine the best treatment options. 


Sports Health Northwest, Inc
12672 NW Barnes RD, STE 100
Portland, OR 97229
Phone: 503-747-6376
Fax: 503-530-8406

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