The thumb pain associated with CMC Arthritis can be severe. A decrease in range of motion and strength can make it painful to shake hands, open doors, and forget about opening that jar of pickles. Treatment can involve splints, braces, and medications. If its really bad surgery may be an option.
Pain is the primary symptom. It’s felt at the base of the thumb when gripping, grasping, pinching or forcing an object. The thumb can also be stiff, tender, and swollen. The thumb will get weaker and lose range of motion. And it may start to look a bit deformed.
CMC arthritis is common in women over 40 years old. Obesity, previous injury, and heredity are also risk factors. CMC Arthritis used to be called “Game Keepers” thumb. Back in the day the people that twisted the necks of rabbits for a living (game keepers) would develop CMC arthritis from the repetitive motion of breaking necks. Gross.