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Chiropractic Care for CMC Joint Pain  

Published Date: 
July 1, 2023
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Chiropractic treatment is an effective, all-natural option for treating CMC joint pain. It’s safe for people of all ages and can help your body return to its once pain-free state.

Whether you’ve developed a problem because of a repetitive motion injury from work or arthritis developed due to your age, chiropractic care promotes healing and pain relief in the CMC joint.

Understanding Carpometacarpal Arthritis of the Thumb

Arthritis is one of the most common health problems there is, especially as people age. Many are surprised to learn that in addition to the usual aches and pains that occur as we get older, we can experience arthritis in the thumbs and fingers. 


Carpometacarpal arthritis of the thumb occurs when the cartilage wears away over time. It affects the ends of the bones that meet to form the joint at the base of the thumb. This is the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint.

Elderly man massaging his thumb affected by CMC arthritis.

CMC joint pain can be severe. It causes inflammation and decreased range of motion and strength. It can interfere with everyday activities and affects someone’s quality of life. 

In many cases, treatment includes the use of splints and medication. In severe cases, surgery might be recommended. 

Symptoms of CMC joint arthritis include:

  • Pain
  • Difficulty gripping, pinching, or grasping objects
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness at the base of the thumb
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Enlarged or bumpy appearance at the thumb joint

CMC joint pain is more common for females over 50, but anyone can be affected. The risk of developing this type of joint pain is higher if you work in a job that puts a lot of stress on the thumb joint or requires repetitive motion of the thumb.

If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms or you’re concerned CMC joint arthritis could be developing, speak to your doctor or chiropractor about the problem.

How a Chiropractor Can Help

Some people are surprised to learn that chiropractic care can help with CMC joint pain. It’s an all-natural, drug-free approach to dealing with arthritis pain management.  

A chiropractor is treating a man for cmc joint pain.

Chiropractors use various techniques to help restore the range of motion and alleviate the pain caused by CMC joint arthritis. In addition to offering immediate relief from discomfort, chiropractic treatment encourages healing and reduces the risk of CMC joint pain worsening.

Chiropractic Techniques for Alleviating CMC Joint Pain

Chiropractic techniques used for alleviating CMC joint pain include:

  • Chiropractic adjustment or mobilization of the carpometacarpal joint
  • Massage therapy to the hands and wrists to ease pain
  • Soft tissue manipulation, including myofascial release
  • Self-stretching exercises that can be done at home
  • Nutritional support, including a healthy diet and dietary supplements

For many patients, these techniques are enough to improve the function of the thumbs and experience pain relief. Many can avoid surgical intervention for the problem. Patients often return to activities they once loved that they were forced to give up due to the chronic pain of CMC joint problems.

Woman's hands held in shape of heart surrounding the setting sun.

Benefits of Managing Thumb Pain with Chiropractic Care

Seeking chiropractic care for help with thumb pain offers a variety of benefits for better health. For example, chiropractic care:

  • Reduces reliance on prescription and over-the-counter pain relief medication
  • Reduces osteoarthritis symptoms, like chronic pain and inflammation
  • Is more affordable than many other treatment options
  • Offers a high rate of satisfaction
  • Can help improve mobility over time and reduce the risk of additional problems
  • Is all-natural and non-invasive

Dr. Eric Neumann D.C.

Dr. Eric Neumann grew up in Alberta, Canada where he majored in Chemistry at the University of Calgary. During his time at University, he obtained licensure as a Massage Therapist. It was clear that hands-on healing would be his calling. After suffering multiple sport-related injuries he became interested in Chiropractic. Dr. Neumann graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 2009. He has since specialized in the treatment and management of acute spinal injuries.

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