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Treatment for ulnar deviation

Ulnar deviation is an irregularity of the hands where there is a steady drifting of the wrist along with the fingers. The ulna is the bone of the forearm lateral to the little finger. The deviation is caused by chronic inflammation that results to wearing and tearing of capsule and ligament of the joint of the fingers and hand. The inflammation usually affects the metacarpophalangeal joints due to rheumatoid arthritis. The synovial membrane and ligaments that supports the joint becomes very loose and the joint subluxated or partially dislocated.


  • Pain can be mild to moderate and eventually becomes severe
  • Severe pain especially in the morning
  • Tingling and numbness sensations
  • The deviation is based on the seriousness of rheumatoid arthritis
  • The joints are distended and edematous and feels spongy and soft
  • Strength for pinching and gripping becomes reduced
  • The reduced function of the hand will eventually becomes worse with time



The joints are distended and edematous and feels spongy and soft.

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected area. Rest is needed for fast healing and avoids unnecessary pain and injuries.
  • Apply ice pack or cold compress to the affected area to lessen the pain and the inflammation for 20-30 minutes at a time throughout the day. Avoid ice directly on the skin. Wrap ice using a towel or cloth before placing to the area to prevent further irritation and worsen the condition. Another alternative is using a bag of frozen vegetable such as peas are good for the condition.
  • Compress the affected area using a bandage or wrap to keep the area supported and protected. Wrap the area using elastic bandage; avoid wrapping them too tight to prevent problems with circulation.
  • Elevate the affected area above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling. Raise the area in couple of pillows to keep it elevated for at least 2-3 hours every day.
  • Use the suggested over-the-counter pain medications to lessen the pain and the inflammation. Avoid aspirin to prevent bleeding and severe discoloration of the skin.
  • Apply heat on the area in the form of a heating pad or hot compress for at least 10-15 minutes to lessen the stiffness and the spasms of the muscles.
  • Wear hand and wrist braces to prevent unnecessary movements, support the affected area and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Use contrast baths to lessen the swelling of the area. Fill up 2 buckets or pots. One with cold water and the other filled with hot water. Dip the fingers in the hot water for at least 1 minute, then into the cold water for another 1 minute. Continue switching for 10 -12 minutes. Always start with hot water and end with cold water.
  • Perform mild stretching exercises for metacarpophalangeal joints with the help of the physical therapist to lessen the pain and restore normal range of movement of the area.

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