Exercise and Massage Therapy for Thumb Arthritis

Exercise and massage therapy are alternative treatments for dealing with thumb arthritis. Researchers are of the opinion that simple exercises like opening and closing the fist or pushing the thumb against a wall or hard base can help reduce thumb pain. Explore how exercise and massage can provide more flexibility and movement to the basal joint located between the thumb and wrist.

Exercise and Massage Therapy

Doctors usually recommend three types of exercises for dealing with arthritis perils of aching joints. Stretching or flexibility exercises, range of motion and strengthening exercises are the common exercises most arthritis sufferers depend on. Physical and occupational therapy however, seem to play key role in comforting the symptoms of thumb arthritis.

Thumb arthritis is a result of wearing cartilages around the basal or carpometacarpal joint. This joint lies mid way between the base of the thumb and the beginning of the wrist. Researchers are of the opinion that the symptoms of thumb arthritis can be checked with exercise and topical massage.

Exercises for Thumb Arthritis

Experts emphasize that exercises are the best way to maximize the health of a thumb. The types of exercises recommended for thumb arthritis include the following:

  • Range of Motion Exercises: Thumb arthritis usually causes the thumb to stiffen and thereby limits function and activity. Range of motion exercises enable further and comfortable movement. Your doctor can demonstrate the required techniques you would need to follow each day.
  • Strengthening Exercises: These exercises help in keeping the thumb steady and secure from shock and stress.
  • Flexibility or Stretching Exercises: Stretch exercises for the thumb as demonstrated by your doctor can also help your thumb to move comfortably without much pain.

Among many suggested exercises the thumb push and finger squeezing exercises are considered effective for relieving thumb pain, stiffness and swelling. Coping with thumb arthritis pain can also include self care measures. That would mean modifying household equipments, carrying paper bags or applying hot or cold compressors.

Massage Therapy for Thumb Arthritis

Hot oil massage also helps in reducing thumb arthritis pain and swelling. A massage therapy is a technique of stroking, rubbing or applying pressure on the soft tissues. Though long term effects of massage techniques are yet to be discovered, they can help in reducing discomfort temporarily.

Massage Techniques for Thumb Arthritis

The different types or techniques of massage for thumb arthritis include the following:

  • Reflexology: This technique is targeted at particular areas of pain like the fingers or thumb.
  • Acupressure or The Shiatsu Massage: This technique also targets specific areas like the thumb. The technique is essentially meant to initiate the flow of energy.
  • The Swedish Massage: This technique involves the gentle stroking of the muscles that can help reduce the tensions around the thumb.
  • Deep Tissue Massage: This technique also focuses on applying pressure through gentle strokes that reduces the symptoms of thumb arthritis.
  • Myofascial Release: This technique is also employed to reduce pain around the connective tissues and muscles.
  • Trigger Pain Therapy: This technique induces comfort with a gentle and concentrated finger point pressure.

The key to an effective and comforting experience is finding the right massage therapist. Inquire into the credentials and qualifications of the therapist for better results and safety. Both exercise and massage can help you get rid of thumb pain. Consult a doctor to include the right techniques in your daily routine.