3 TIPS FOR THUMB TENDINITIS
The most common site of source of pain in your thumb and wrist originates in the thumb pad where the metacarpal bone connects to the wrist at the trapezium carpal bone. The CMC joint or ‘basal thumb joint’ is a highly mobile, loose capsule joint. This mobility is essential for dexterity and the elaborate movements the thumb allows our hands to perform. But the constant use of our thumbs in our daily activities, along with the mobile structure of the joint makes the thumb susceptible to pain and injury. In fact, the CMC joint is often the first joint where osteoarthritis creeps in.
Tendinitis of the thumb, a common source of pain, can be caused by the wrist and thumb movements used in your job, hobby, daily life & even repetitive micro-movements of excessive texting. When the tendons become swollen or irritated, the lining (synovium) around the tendon swells and the tendons don’t glide as they should. Officially referred to as Dequervain’s Syndrome, it is also known as ‘Mommy Thumb’ and occurs in a high rate of new mothers.
Treat your Thumbs with Care
1. Rest & Ice: Ice the thumb and wrist area 5 – 15 minutes several times a day. Because up to 50% of the hand’s function relates to the thumb, it can be difficult to rest your thumbs. It’s important to increase your awareness of how you are using your thumbs & avoid the movements and activities that cause pain in your thumb pad and wrists.
2. Immobilize & Support the Thumb: A soft thumb & wrist support can serve as a visual reminder not to overuse your thumb, as well as providing some mild stability. But if you are unable to avoid using your thumb, especially against resistance (i.e. It’s unlikely a mom can go all day without picking up her baby), then a splint that immobilizes your wrist and thumb should be worn. Consult with a Certified Hand Therapist or Medical Specialist.
3. Modify Activities & Use Ergonomic Tools: Modification of your daily tasks will be necessary for healing and to prevent re-occurrence. Consciously avoiding activities that move the wrist side to side or cause thumb pain may require altering grasp patterns, using better lifting mechanics & form, reducing texting, using built up diameter pens and ergonomic kitchen and gardening tools. Check out our WAGs Ultra gloves to help with the discomfort associated with arthritic thumbs.