My Thumb Hurts – What’s Wrong?

Thumbs are awesome! So awesome in fact that most of the time we take them for granted. That is… until your thumb starts to hurt. When you have thumb joint pain, you realize just how much you use it. Pain in your thumb can be caused by several health conditions. If you find yourself saying, “my thumb hurts – what’s wrong”, you may have one of the 4 common causes of thumb pain – 1. CMC Thumb Arthritis, 2. de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis,  3. Gamekeeper’s or Skier’s Thumb, or  4. Trigger Thumb.

Where Does Your Thumb Hurt

Thumb joint problems can make every day activities challenging. To discover what’s causing your thumb pain it’s important to understand where on your thumb it hurts, when you feel the pain and how often you feel it. The following information can help you learn why your thumb hurts and give you answers on what to do about it.

Start by answering the question Where Does It Hurt?  in the charts below. Initial treatment generally begins with immobilizing your thumb with a splint or brace to help limit your motion and rest your joints and tendons. In most cases, it is best to treat the condition early, with simple measures. The earlier the treatment is started, the better the chances that your pain can be relieved. Don’t wait to feel better.

4 Common Causes of Thumb Pain

1. Thumb Pain from CMC Thumb Arthritis

 Where Does It Hurt?

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At the base of the thumb where your thumb meets your wrist; you feel pain when pinching or gripping, especially holding small objects like pens or tool handles. You may experience loss of grip strength and thumb mobility. CMC Thumb Arthritis (Also known as CMC Joint Arthritis, or Basal Joint Arthritis) occurs when the cushion-like cartilage wears out, causing the bones in the Carpometacarpal  Joint or  CMC  Joint to grind together. CMC joint arthritis can be mild or it can progress over time and is one of the most common causes of thumb pain CMCcare thumb brace for cmc thumb arthritis

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2. Thumb Pain from de Quervain’s

Where Does It Hurt?

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Along the side of your thumb when moving it into the hitchhiker position or when bending your hand towards your little finger; pain may “shoot” along the thumb side of your forearm. de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis  is inflammation of the tendons at the base of your thumb, on the side of your wrist. The most common cause is from overuse when lifting or performing side to side motions with your hand and wrist

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3. Thumb Pain from Gamekeeper’s Thumb

Where Does It Hurt?

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Pain in the middle joint of your thumb where it attaches to your hand; you have difficulty grasping or holding objects; pinching is painful and hard to do. Gamekeeper’s or Skier’s Thumb  is an injury to the ligament that happens when your thumb is pushed sideways away from the index finger which tears the ligaments between the bones in your thumb. A fall, where you catch your thumb on the way down or a strong twisting motion are common causes

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4. Thumb Pain from Trigger Thumb

Where Does It Hurt?

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You feel a “popping” pain when bending or straightening the end of your thumb; your thumb sticks in a bent position and has to be pulled straight Trigger Thumb is inflammation of the tendon(s) that flex or bend your thumb. The tendons in your thumb get too large to move back and forth through the “pulleys” causing your thumb to get stuck Oval-8 Splint for trigger thumb Oval-8 Finger Splint for Trigger Thumb

While this information can be useful to help narrow down what your thumb problem might be, it is strongly recommended that you consult with a health care professional before beginning any treatment. Treating your symptoms with the wrong diagnosis can not only delay proper healing, it may also make your condition worse.

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Our blogs are educational in nature and are not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Because your condition is unique to you, it is recommended that you consult with your health care provider before attempting any medical or therapeutic treatments. We are always happy to answer questions about products mentioned in our blogs, however, we cannot provide a diagnosis or medical advice.

The post My Thumb Hurts – What’s Wrong? appeared first on Oh My Arthritis.

Original source: https://www.blog.ohmyarthritis.com/my-thumb-hurts-whats-wrong/

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