Arthritis Action
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general advice - OA in hands (I think)

hi everyone.

I have had a 'lumpy' and sore first finger for a few years but just thought I'm fifty, a bit overweight and have type 1 diabetes (well controlled), thats life and it hadn't been too much of a bother except when cold.

Now i have started getting other finger joint pains and both main thumb joints (where attach to hand if that makes sense) are tender and sometimes i struggle to hold things using the right thumb and driving for long periods is uncomfortable. I dont really want to bother the doctor with sore hands - sometimes they aren't sore for long periods of time -and wondered if anyone could suggest non medical help/advice. I have a reasonably physical job as a personal care assistant in a special school so need to use my hands a lot. I feel a bit silly posting as so many of you have serious pain and conditions but hoped someone could give advice or things to try. Thanks for any replies.

3 Replies

Hi your not been silly. I would ask for a referral to rheumytolagy consultant what you are discribing is the same as my hands I was dx with OA in 2012. And psoriatic arthritis 2 years ago. U may need medication to slow down the progression. Take care. I have things to help me with opening things and doing buttons you can buy from Amazon.


I had the same symptoms as you twenty odd years ago. They vanished gradually and I think it coincided with me changeing from polyunsaturated spreads and oils to using only butter and olive oil. Read up about Omega3 and Omega6 balance, avoid processed food. I did not find doctors helpful. One GP told me that lots of women of my age (around 50 then) had swollen finger joints without there being anything wrong with them. Later reading the Arthritis Research info I found that it is the classic start of OA.

The base of the thumb pain went with exercise. I had access to a special contraption at the gym I attended, but an ordinary ball would probably do, just squeeze hard with your thumb. I did 2 sets of 12 with each hand once a week. If I get pain or weakness in my hands now I use a hand strengthener.

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Welcome and thank you for posting carann47! We don't think any personal journey with arthritis is too small, and hope you find the online community here supportive.

You can always contact us for any information on the self-management approach and our other services on 0203 781 7120, emailing: - or visiting:

All the best,


Arthritis Action Communications Officer

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