Primates, including human beings, are separated from the rest of the animal kingdom by one important digit - the first digit, the thumb. Imagine trying to hold onto a needle, a pen, or a hammer without a thumb; nearly impossible. That is why when the thumb becomes painful and useless a person can lose a job, lose a hobby, and lose the ability to live independently. Three common conditions affect the thumb: arthritis , de Quervain's Tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome . Unfortunately, these three conditions usually go hand-in-hand and attack the same thumb.
In order to understand the thumb, one must know about the most important joint which is at the base of the thumb and called the carpometacarpal joint (CMC joint). The first CMC joint is the only CMC joint that has full range of motion: abduction, adduction, flexion, extension, and rotation. This motion is what gives the thumb full function for grasping, holding, pinching, and squeezing. And out of all the motions of the thum...
Oh, an aching joint. Will it get better on its own? What is wrong with it? Do I need to see a doctor? All of these questions may cross your mind when a joint is ailing you. As access to healthcare is getting more and more difficult, deciding when to see a doctor can be an arduous decision. However, seeing a doctor might be the only way to get some clear answers because talking to a stranger or friend who had a similar problem is not the best substitute for truly professional advice. Consulting with a primary care or general doctor might be good enough. Other times, a joint specialist is needed to help that aching joint. Just like a bone specialist is need for bone problems.
When should you see a joint specialist? Five scenarios exist that might require some special attention.
Trauma : A fall or an accident can cause some significant damage to a joint. Immediate care might be needed if there is gross joint deformity like a dislocation or fracture. But most minor traumas some i...
Stiffness in a joint; Pain - joints; Arthralgia
Follow prescribed therapy in treating the underlying cause.
For nonarthritis joint pain, both rest and exercise are important. Warm baths, massage, and stretching exercises should be used as frequently as possible.
Anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve pain and swelling. Consult your health care provider before giving aspirin or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen to children.
Call your health care provider if
Contact your health care provider if:
You have fever that is not associated with flu symptoms
You have lost 10 pounds or more without trying (unintended weight loss)
Your joint pain lasts for more than 3 days
You have severe, unexplained joint pain, particularly if you have other unexplained symptoms
What to expect at your health care provider's office
Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask you about your medica...
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