Watch and learn as Cary Orthopaedics occupational therapist Sarah Rahman, OTR/L, CHT, discusses what occupational therapy is and demonstrates OT treatments used when treating osteoarthritis of the thumb.

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy doesn’t just help with skills for work or an occupation; it also helps patients gain functions for their everyday lives. This can mean getting dressed, putting on makeup, driving to work, picking up your kids or even holding someone’s hand. OTs treat both post-operative patients and conservative patients, meaning they haven’t had any surgery.

Occupational therapists treat many conditions including:

  • Amputations
  • Carpal/cubital tunnel
  • CMC arthroplasties
  • Hand/forearm/elbow fractures
  • Sprains and strains
  • Osteoarthritis arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tendon/nerve repairs
  • Tendinopathies
  • Trigger fingers

Treating osteoarthritis of the thumb

Osteoarthritis of the thumb can have many symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Swelling of the joints
  • Pain and/or tenderness in the tumb
  • Difficulty pinching
  • Difficulty with fine motor activities
  • Limited mobility in the thumb

Occupational therapy can help to address these issues. Patient education, modification and joint protection are all vital when treating osteoarthritis of the thumb. Interventions used to treat osteoarthritis of the thumb include fluidotherapy, soft tissue mobilization, and custom or off-the-shelf splinting. Occupational therapists will also use exercise to increase the strength and mobility of the thumb without damaging the joint.

Occupational therapy in Holly Springs and Cary

These interventions are safe and effective techniques if used properly and performed by a trained occupational therapist. Patient education and a custom treatment program are a large part of gaining back lost function or skill. For more information about occupational therapy or to book an appointment, please contact us today.