An exercise program for carpometacarpal osteoarthritis based on biomechanical principles

J Hand Ther. 2012 Jul-Sep;25(3):251-62; quiz 263. doi: 10.1016/j.jht.2012.03.008.


A review of the literature was performed to design a hand exercise regimen based on biomechanical principles of the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint and the forces that act upon the joint. Sixteen biomechanical studies were included in the review: four studies developed a mathematical model of the thumb and 12 performed cadaveric dissections to study the CMC joint. Clinical application of the biomechanical findings from the studies was synthesized into specific recommendations for a hand exercise program to preserve CMC joint range of motion and increase the strength of the stabilizing muscles of the thumb. The exercise regimen was developed in accordance with recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for the development of individualized exercise prescriptions.

Level of evidence: 4.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Carpometacarpal Joints / physiopathology*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology
  • Joint Instability / therapy
  • Ligaments, Articular / physiology
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology