Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is known as a chronic and multisystem disease accompanied by synovial inflammation leading to deformities such as finger ulnar deviation and pain, as well as functional difficulties. Thus, a conservative treatment in this domain includes orthoses, that is, features added to the body that aim to correct deformity, reduce pain, and finally improve functionality.
The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to evaluate the effect of ulnar deviation orthosis in patients with zigzag deformity due to RA.
Material and Methods
In total, 12 participants with RA were measured two times: before the start of orthosis use and after 4 weeks of use. The rate of pain, grip strength, and upper-limb function were also measured using a visual analog scale, the Jamar Hydraulic Hand Dynamometer, and the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand Questionnaire, respectively.
After 4 weeks of orthosis use, it was found that the scores of pain (P = 0.03), upper-limb function (P = 0.008), and grip strength had significantly improved in the hands treated over time.
The use of an ulnar deviation orthosis by patients with RA could reduce hand pain, improve grip strength, and promote upper-limb function.