Author Topic: Thumb Basal Joint Arthritis  (Read 235 times)

Thumb Basal Joint Arthritis
« on: April 24, 2021, 05:31:34 pm »
I suffer from this condition bilaterally. Although I don't think it is a result of cycling (could I be wrong?) I suffer pain after a long ride. Can anyone offer any advice to mitigate please? Eventually would joint fusion surgery be a good idea? I could use a pair of handlebars as a template for the surgeon to set the joint to! I'm nearly 61 and it appears to be recommended for younger patients.

Re: Thumb Basal Joint Arthritis
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2021, 08:25:08 pm »
Thumb basal joint arthritis is a common condition which rarely needs surgery and is best treated at least in the early stages with better gloves, changes in handlebar position and changes in your position on the handlebars.  Simple changes can usually reduce or abolish pain and keep people working and riding.

First thing is to assess whether your elbows are straight  and the front of your elbows point forwards whilst riding?  If so you are taking your weight through your hands.  Rotate your hands slightly so that the elbows point towards each other and the elbows are bent.  Usually this means you have to start some serious core exercises!!

Secondly look at your gloves.  Manufacturers scrimp on the material between the thumb and index which can put the wrong pressure on the thumb and cause pain.

Finally, you might want to consider a Push splint your gloves which will help support your thumb.  The evidence is weak for a benefit in all areas but I think it is worthwhile for this use case.

You are welcome to add extra padding to your bars and fancy bar tapes but as an acknowledged expert on CMC joint arthritis these are the areas I would address first.

Re: Thumb Basal Joint Arthritis
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2021, 10:49:41 pm »
Thanks for the advice. Your comments about position seem to be borne out by the after effect of 180km on my trike (painful) when compared with 300K on fixed. (not bad)  Will check relative hand/elbow position.  Gloves, yes you are right little or no padding. Your recommendation for splints is worth a punt at the price. Cheers Aidan.

Re: Thumb Basal Joint Arthritis
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2021, 02:35:41 pm »
I have arthritis in the next joint up. 

My consultant was offering a steroid injection and, following some helpful input from Chris (thanks very much!) on a thread a couple of months ago (, I declined.  I got put onto a physio who has given me a 5-minute daily exercise routine and it has helped a lot.  Maybe part is due to warmer weather, but it is far better.  On that basis I'd really recommend looking in to physio.