Treatment for thumb pain caused by arthritis includes certain exercises, applying ice and over-the-counter medications. Other treatment options are steroid injections or a splint, says Healthline.
Hand exercises are commonly recommended by doctors and physical therapists for relieving thumb pain caused by osteoarthritis. In addition to improving arthritis symptoms, these exercises increase range of motion. One example of a hand exercise is the thumb stretch, which involves attempting to touch the tip of the thumb to just under the pinkie finger. Hand exercises should be done only after consulting a doctor or physical therapist, warns Healthline.
Over-the-counter medications that help relieve thumb pain include Tylenol, Motrin, Advil and Aleve. Medications such as Motrin, Advil and Aleve may cause health problems when taken in high doses, says Healthline. It is important to not consume more than is recommended by the package or a doctor.
Some supplements have also proved effective at treating thumb pain such as glucosamine and chondroitin. Applying capsaicin skin creams to the thumb may also help relieve arthritis symptoms, claims Healthline. Corticosteroid injections also help, but these treatments may only be done two or three times per year. Avoiding excess physical activity while on a steroid medication is suggested in order to avoid damaging the joints.