Brazilian Journal of Pain
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Review Article

Osteoarthritis of the hands and muscle strengthening exercises: an integrative update and review of the literature

Osteoartrite de mãos e exercícios de fortalecimento muscular: uma atualização e revisão integrativa da literatura

Isabelle Ferreira da Silva Souza; Rosa Sá de Oliveira Neta; Renata Trajano Jorge Caldas; Michely Nery; Marcelo Cardoso de Souza

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Osteoarthritis of the hands is a highly prevalent disease that can lead to significant deformity and disability. The therapeutic approach in the management of osteoarthritis of the hands is based on pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches. However, none of these treatments demonstrated a reduction of joint damage, and it presents itself in a purely symptomatic way. Yet, expert practitioners strongly recommend and use hand muscle strengthening in patients with hand osteoarthritis, but there is no consensus for such conduct. The objective of the study was to review the concepts about hand osteoarthritis as well as to bring the current evidence on muscle strengthening as a non-pharmacological treatment for this disease.

CONTENTS: The study reviewed the United States National Library of Medicine database (Pubmed). The words used were: hand osteoarthritis, exercises, physiotherapy and rehabilitation. We included 5 articles in English, published in the last 10 years, focused on muscle strengthening exercises for osteoarthritis patients.

CONCLUSION: There is no consensus, nor a more effective exercise protocol, although exercises and physiotherapy are still recommended. We suggest conducting randomized controlled clinical trials to improve the evidence on this subject.


Hands, Muscle strengthening, Osteoarthritis


JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: A osteoartrite de mãos é uma doença altamente prevalente que pode levar à importante deformidade e incapacidade. A abordagem terapêutica no seu manuseio baseia-se em condutas farmacológicas e não farmacológicas; no entanto, nenhum desses tratamentos demonstrou redução da lesão articular e apresenta-se de maneira puramente sintomática. Contudo, profissionais especializados recomendam e utilizam amplamente o fortalecimento da musculatura das mãos em pacientes com osteoartrite de mãos, mas não há um consenso para tal conduta. O objetivo do estudo foi revisar os conceitos sobre a osteoartrite de mãos, bem como trazer as evidências atuais sobre o fortalecimento muscular como forma de tratamento não medicamentoso para esta doença.

CONTEÚDO: O estudo foi realizado na base de dados "United States National Library of Medicine" (Pubmed). As palavras utilizadas foram: "hand osteoarthritis", "exercises", "physiotherapy and rehabilitation". Foram incluídos 5 artigos em inglês, publicados nos últimos 10 anos, cujo foco fosse exercícios de fortalecimento muscular para pacientes com osteoartrite de mãos.

CONCLUSÃO: Não existe consenso, nem um protocolo de exercícios mais efetivos, embora os exercícios e a fisioterapia ainda sejam recomendados. Sugere-se a realização de estudos clínicos controlados e randomizados para melhorar a evidência sobre este assunto.


Fortalecimento muscular, Mãos, Osteoartrite


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