Basal Joint Arthritis – Thumb Pain

Basal joint arthritis

Eileen Kane MS, PT, CHT, RYT

The Basal Joint of the thumb is also known as the Carpometacarpal (CMC) joint. It is located where the base of your thumb meets your wrist. It is a synovial joint consisting of the base of the thumb metacarpal and a carpal bone of your wrist. Synovial joints have a layer of cartilage which acts as a cushion during motion of the joint and daily function. Arthritis is the wearing down of that cartilage layer and can cause pain with pinching small objects such as keys, opening sealed bags of food, picking up small objects buttoning buttons, writing, and even opening doors or jars.

Traditional interventions include injection by your doctor, custom and over the counter bracing, hand therapy, rest and anti-inflammatory medications. Recent research has indicated that pain can be greatly reduced by attending Physical Therapy to retrain intrinsic hand muscles (including the first dorsal interossei, abductor pollicis brevis and extensor pollicis brevis, and opponens pollicis) to improve your strength and function.
Home programs including joint protection techniques, massage and orthotics or bracing to help decrease pain may also be beneficial.

Aquacare Physical Therapy is pleased to announce the addition of Eileen Kane, MS, PT, CHT, RYT as staff physical therapist and certified hand therapist at our Lewes Delaware office.

Her specialties include treating diverse upper quarter conditions and traumatic injuries. Eileen received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and earned her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She is certified in Upper Quarter Rehabilitation from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has an exhaustive continuing education to her credit including Essentials of Hand and Upper Extremity Rehabilitation, Dry Needling, Mobilization of the Cervical and Thoracic Spine and Ribs, and Functional Capacity Evaluations Matheson System, to name a few. Eileen is an attendee of the Philadelphia Hand Symposium where she assisted with cadaver lab instruction, the Ithaca Hand Therapy Think Tank, the University of Pennsylvania Shoulder and Elbow Conference, and has been a guest lecturer instructing splinting to occupational therapy students at Jefferson University. She has also taught for the American Society of Hand Therapists.

Eileen’s Vision “My approach to upper quarter rehabilitation is to treat each person according to their goals and needs using evidence-based practice. I try to improve patient motivation with education, humor, and close attention to what the patient wants out of their rehabilitation. I truly enjoy getting to meet people from all walks of life and I hope that makes my patients enjoy therapy sessions.”

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