Thumb arthritis, sometimes known as “basal joint arthritis” or “arthritis base of the thumb,” is a condition that is genetic and tends to come with age. Patients with thumb arthritis find it difficult to perform daily tasks such as opening a jar or turning a doorknob. The pain and swelling is found at the base of the thumb.
Watch this two-minute video to see how a quick surgery can relieve thumb arthritis symptoms if splints and injections do not work for you.
I have pain in the palm of my hand at the base of my thumb. It hurts more when I try to open jars, and I frequently have to ask someone for help. Is there anything I can do to make this less painful?
Hand therapists discuss something called joint protection, which is all about – you guessed it – protecting your joints! Thumb pain can occur when there is joint inflammation and swelling. With the use of the right tools, you can perform the same tasks while minimizing or eliminating the pain. Tools to help with opening jars come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
For jars that have a vacuum seal (pasta sauces or jam jars), a device called a jar popper/jar key can help break the seal without stressing your thumb. This works similar to a church key for removing bottle tops. It catches the side of the lid and you use the leverage of the tool to release the vacuum. Once that is accomplished, opening the lid is much easier – and less painful!
That’s interesting. Does it work for pill bottles, too?
Good question! Because pill bottles don’t have a vacuum, it does not work for them; however, there is another option to help you out.