Does a thumb brace help with osteoarthritis?

Does a thumb brace help with osteoarthritis?


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Auteur: Bart van Ommen – ⏱ 8 minuten

Osteoarthritis in the thumb (also known as rhizo osteoarthritis) is the most common form of osteoarthritis after knee and hip osteoarthritis. Some symptoms of thumb osteoarthritis are: pain, stiffness and loss of function. This article focuses on the following question: “Does a thumb brace help with osteoarthritis?”

To know more about other treatment methods for osteoarthritis, read more here….

Does a thumb brace help?

Thumb osteoarthritis is often treated by a hand therapist. In many cases, a thumb brace is also advised or fitted. A thumb brace can keep the thumb joints stable or fix them during daily activities, so that pain symptoms decrease during the activities. A brace is extremely effective for the thumb, because you make a lot of fine motor movements with your hands during the day. Think, for example, of writing or typing and eating with knife, fork and / or spoon.


The American College of Physicians has conducted research into the effect of a thumb brace on osteoarthritis. The reason for the study was the limited amount of research into the effectiveness of a thumb brace for osteoarthritis. The participants with thumb osteoarthritis were divided into two groups. One group only received regular treatments from a therapist and the other group received, in addition to the regular treatment, a thumb brace. For the first month, no difference was observed between these two groups. After a year, the group with a brace reported a lower pain score than the group without a brace.

Source: Splint for Base-of-Thumb Osteoarthritis A Randomized Trial – Journal Annals of internal medicine 2009

The Diakonhjemmet hospital in Oslo has also conducted research into the effectiveness of a thumb brace. The aim of this research was to use literature research to find out to what extent a thumb brace and exercises for the thumb are effective in combating pain from osteoarthritis. The researchers concluded that there is coherent evidence that a thumb brace is effective for osteoarthritis.

Source: Systematic review of design and effects of splints and exercise programs in hand osteoarthritis – US National Library of Medicine 2011

Which thumb brace suits me best?

Choosing the right thumb brace is important to bring about a good effect. We are happy to help you with this choice with our Bracewijzer. Bracewijzer is not intended to give an indication and is therefore not an alternative to a consultation with your general practitioner, doctor, physiotherapist and other healthcare professionals. It is wise to always make your movement complaint known to a competent healthcare professional.


Bart van Ommen

Het kiezen van de juiste brace, passend bij jouw klacht en je situatie is geen makkelijke opgave. Daarom vinden wij het als leverancier onze taak om kennis over braces met je te delen, zodat je een overwogen keuze kan maken. De brace die bij jou past en jouw het beste ondersteunt in je activiteit.