JOPLIN, MO-- "It's extremely painful. People lose the ability to pinch and to grip, pick up a cup, drink, those sorts of things. So it really limits one's function in daily life." And now Freeman Certified Hand Therapist Larry Johnson says new research is backing a therapy he's been using for years. It involves wearing a splint to address arthritic pain at the base of the thumb. "The fact that that joint is painful and you've got bone rubbing on bone, the splint actually provides stability to that joint, promotes function because of that stability. And it actually in the long run prevents deformity."
And an additional benefit - since the split reduces pain, the patients will generally take fewer pain killers, reducing negative side effects. Johnson said, "Any time you use pain medicines at a high dose and for a long term, the effects of those medicines, negative effects, go up significantly. So the use of a splint is definitely a great option to lessen the use of pain medicines."