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Osteoarthritis is a common problem among people aged 65 years, and pain becomes persistent in hip and knee joints. Surprisingly, people tend to ignore the pain in the carpometacarpal joint until it turns arthritic. However, a recent study shows that this arthritis can be treated without medication. 

Here is how you can know if you are developing first-CMC arthritis 

The first carpometacarpal joint enables people to move the thumb in various directions, and it is instrumental in grasping or turning objects and other countless activities. You can know that you first have carpometacarpal joint arthritis if you experience pain in the wrist and thumb joints. The pain may worsen when turning objects, using keys, opening jars, or writing, and the individual has the poor functional ability. In addition, external bone growth may cause a bony appearance in the joint, and in severe cases, the pain can be experienced even at rest. 

Although a doctor might diagnose CMC osteoarthritis first based on a physical exam and symptoms, it is vital to take an x-ray to confirm a diagnosis. 

There are few treatments for first CMC osteoarthritis, which are usually ineffective. The most recommended treatment includes exercise meant for the joint, wearing an orthosis, managing bothersome symptoms, and using anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. 

Occupational therapy could be a remedy to first-CMC osteoarthritis

Interestingly a recent study suggests that occupational therapy could be an effective first-CMC arthritis treatment. The study that evaluated 180 people showed that occupational therapy relieved pain after exercise and at rest and enhanced grip power and function. 

This latest study is among a series of studies that have evaluated occupational therapy in first-CMC osteoarthritis. Although this form of arthritis is common, there are still several unanswered questions about why it develops in the joints of the hands, how it can be stopped, and how long occupational therapy lasts. There is also a need to evaluate the long-term impact of occupational therapy and establish the elements of occupational therapy that may be crucial in preventing fist-CMC osteoarthritis.