Objective: The purpose of this case series is to report on the effects of passive joint mobilization (PJM) of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist on pain intensity, pain sensitivity, and function in elderly participants with secondary carpometacarpal osteoarthritis (CMC OA).
Methods: Fifteen inpatients from the Department of Physical Therapy, Residenze Sanitarie Assistenziali, Collegno (Italy), with secondary CMC OA (70-90 years old) were included in this study. All patients received PJM of the dominant arm (shoulder, elbow, and wrist) for 4 sessions for 2 weeks. Pain severity was measured by visual analog scale, and pain sensitivity was measured with pressure pain threshold (PPT) at CMC joint, at the tubercle of the scaphoid bone, and at the unciform apophysis of the hamate bone. Tip and tripod pinch strength were measured by a pinch gauge.
Results: Passive joint mobilization reduced pain severity after the first follow-up by 30%, in addition to increased PPT by 13% in the hamate bone. Strength was enhanced after treatment. Tripod pinch increased by 18% in the dominant hand after treatment.
Conclusions: This case series provides preliminary evidence that PJM of upper extremity joints diminished pain and may increase PPT tip and tripod pinch in some participants with secondary CMC OA.
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