Text Thumb Pain – Arthritis of the CMC Thumb Joint

What is Text Thumb?

Text thumb is a real epidemic. Using our thumbs to text or type can wear out the thumb joint, leading to chronic pain from arthritis at the base your thumb. The sad thing is most docs treat text thumb the same way they did 30 years ago and those treatments are terrible. The good news is that prolotherapy is a great alternative to cortisone injections and surgery for thumb arthritis.

What causes thumb arthritis?

The thumb is a pretty amazing invention – it allows us to pick up and manipulate basically any item we want. When your thumb hurts it’s hard to use your hands, those 4 other fingers are basically useless without your thumb. So what causes our thumb joint to wear out?

Arthritis in the CMC (this is the fancy term for thumb joint) can be caused by our modern overuse of the joint in repetitive tasks like typing and texting. If you think about how many micro-movements you do with your thumb every single day, it’s in the THOUSANDS!

In the most commonly arthritic joint at the base of the thumb (CMC joint), ligament laxity has been found to be a major cause of an unstable joint that leads to the arthritis. Another common problem is when there are barely noticeable issues in the median nerve and radial nerve at the wrist. When these nerves are irritated they don’t fire correctly which leads to small biomechanical changes in how your thumb and wrist move. This leads to wear and tear on the tendons and ligaments and causes arthritis. 

What are my options?

Modern medicine is amazing at a bunch of different things – we have a drug for basically every problem. But we are really bad at treating pain. So bad that most doctors and hospital systems are treating pain the same exact way they did 30 years ago – and that means throwing muscle relaxers, NSAIDs and steroids at the problem. So you have a few options:

Do Nothing

Studies show that if you do nothing and hope for the best most people end up about 20% worse later. So doing nothing is a bad choice because arthritis will just progress.

Cortisone Injections Don’t Work

In the short term (4-6 weeks) cortisone injections tend to reduce pain but so does a placebo injection of just saline. Long term, 1+ year after cortisone injections, 80% of patients report more pain than before they received injections. This is because cortisone injections are proven to make ligaments and tendons weaker which in turn causes more stress on the joint. So it’s best to avoid cortisone injections since they don’t help long term and in fact often make things worse.

A better choice….Prolotherapy Helps Thumb Arthritis

Prolotherapy is the original regenerative injection and is a much more cost effective alternative to stem cells and PRP. Prolotherapy works with the built in healing powers your body was born with. The goal of prolotherapy is to restart the healing process around injured and damaged joints and tissues. This kicks off a healing cascade, where cells signal to surrounding cells to activate stem cells and heal up. This process doesn’t happen over night but over time. So the prolotherapy process is repeated as many times as necessary. In 80% of patients have a 50% or more drop in their pain at Dr. Hanson’s prolotherapy clinic in Tampa, FL.

How much does Prolotherapy Cost for Thumb Arthritis?

Most major areas can be treated for around $300 per treatment. We generally recommend a series of 4-6 treatments spaced out every 2-4 weeks. When you come in for your initial visit, Dr. Hanson will give you a specific number of treatments based on your physical findings.

Where to Get Prolotherapy in Tampa for Thumb Arthritis?

Dr. Hanson’s prolotherapy clinic is located at 720 W. Milk Blvd in Tampa, FL 33603. You can click the Book Now button below to schedule your initial visit!

Picture of Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson specializes in treating chronic pain and providing fertility support. He has performed 40,000+ procedures over the last 10+ years. Dr. Hanson has a clinic in Tampa, FL where patients travel from all over Florida to receive cutting edge care.

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