Thumb Pain

Posted by lotsofpain @lotsofpain, Jun 8 4:51pm

I have a long-standing arthritis my left thumb joint but increasingly when I extend my thumb out the right I get pain in the joint and on the top of my hand and a bit in the forearm. Will restricting the movement outwards for a while with a bandage or tape help

It is slightly complicated by the fact that I have a small burn on the other side of my hand and and I don't think that's anything to do with it that seems to be healing well

@lotsofpain Hi again! I’m glad to read that your burn is healing nicely. Sounds like the spray plaster has been doing a great job keeping it protected.

A couple of questions for you. Have you been using your thumb to compensate for the burn in any way? Meaning, have you had to hold a pen or kitchen utensil in a different manner than normal since you got the burn? That’s the only link I can think of.

However, having arthritis in my lower thumb joint elicits the same response if I over do anything! When I sew, be it by hand or by machine I find gripping a needle or spreading my hands feeding fabric under the machine needle will leave my thumb hurting fiercely if I then try to spread out my fingers. Opening Jars can be a challenge too. They open just fine but I pay for my thrills afterwards. LOL

I’ve never used any tape or bandage to help relieve the pain. I just try avoid any moments which causes my thumb to hyper extend for a few days and it all goes back to normal. I also do some gentle stretching exercises for my hands daily which helps. But it certainly couldn’t hurt if you wanted to keep your thumb comfortable in an Ace bandage for parts of the day.
If it continues to get worse or you develop what’s called a Trigger Finger, you might want to have it checked by a physician or orthopedic doctor. Good luck!

REPLY

No I think the burn link is probably a red herring no I suppose is possible it is alter the way I hold my hand. I do have a problem with triggering but that is in my middle finger. I think I will wrap it Up for some of the day particularly when I'm using my hands a lot

REPLY
@lotsofpain

No I think the burn link is probably a red herring no I suppose is possible it is alter the way I hold my hand. I do have a problem with triggering but that is in my middle finger. I think I will wrap it Up for some of the day particularly when I'm using my hands a lot

Jump to this post

The most common problem with a thumb that gives the pain you describe is arthritis in the CMC (carpal metacarpal) joint at the base of the thumb. One really helpful device is the "thumb spica" splint, made of neoprene and Velcro. There are several variations, so a visit with a hand therapist to try them and choose the best for you is a good idea. These are more effective than an Ace bandage because they also support and warm the hand and thumb. When the pain can no longer be relieved with the brace and antiinflammatories, or if the joint becomes unstable, it is sometimes necessary to have repair surgery.
Sue

REPLY

Hi there "lotsofpain". I have had the same thumb joint problems. There are thumb "splints" or braces with velcro that you can wrap around your thumb so that it is held in a non-painful position. Your PT may have one or two for you to try. I always had good luck talking to the PA on the team. You can also rub a 3:1 (CBD/THC) balm for chronic pain on your thumb. That really helps. What have you been using? Have you considered surgery? I have not had any trouble since I had "anchovy" surgery on my left hand. It is an older process but still used…….because it works. The ligament that runs up your arm is cut and rolled up to fit in the empty thumb joint space. I am totally pleased with the result.

May you be content and at peace.
Chris

REPLY

When I move my thumb away from my body or try to grab something I get pain in the highlighted area and a little bit in my forearm. A firm bandage or tape relieves the pain. I think its the MCP joint. What can I do about it

REPLY
@lotsofpain

When I move my thumb away from my body or try to grab something I get pain in the highlighted area and a little bit in my forearm. A firm bandage or tape relieves the pain. I think its the MCP joint. What can I do about it

Jump to this post

Hi @lotsofpain, sorry to hear you are still having pain in your thumb. You will see that I moved your post to the previous discussion that you started on thumb pain. I did this so you can re-connect with the people who responded to you and they don't have to find another post. I'd like to invite back @artscaping, @sueinmn, and @loribmt to the conversation.

@lotsofpain, have you seen an orthopedic physician for this yet?

REPLY
@lotsofpain

When I move my thumb away from my body or try to grab something I get pain in the highlighted area and a little bit in my forearm. A firm bandage or tape relieves the pain. I think its the MCP joint. What can I do about it

Jump to this post

Have you seen an orthopedic or hand surgeon for diagnosis? Pain from both MCP and CMC joints is similar, treatment differs, but both begin with complete evaluation, progress to hand therapy including splinting, and as a last resort may require surgery.
In each case, strengthening exercises and a properly fitted splint can often help a great deal.
Sue

REPLY

x rays have shown a fair bit of athritis in thumb joint – so its mostly symptom management. Physio says use compression bandage / taping / wrist brace for periods

REPLY
@lotsofpain

When I move my thumb away from my body or try to grab something I get pain in the highlighted area and a little bit in my forearm. A firm bandage or tape relieves the pain. I think its the MCP joint. What can I do about it

Jump to this post

Thanks for the image @lotsofpain. If I read it correctly, my source point seems to be further towards my wrist and has a good-sized arthritic spur or lump. At this point, I am trying cortisone but that can only happen a few times a year. If I wasn't having a TKR in August, I would explore a surgical fix just like I did for the other thumb.

Now, here's my secret thumb fixer that I shared with you in my last post. "medical cannabis that I use to control my neuropathy pain." Works like a charm and stops those reaching and grabbing related pains. Let us know what your clinician has told you "other than there is nothing you can do?" Would you consider seeking a second opinion?

Thumbs are important elements in our bag of tools. We need to keep them working.

May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
Chris

REPLY

@lotsofpain, @sueinmn, @loribmt, @artscaping, I can't believe this thumb thread popped up today, just when I need it. What's next for @artist01, you say! I know! I began having quite severe pain in the CMC joint (?) of my left hand this past weekend, with a pronounced lump at that joint and progressive swelling down my inner thumb toward the next joint where my thumb joins my hand. The swelling is now creeping up my wrist about an inch and a half. Can't grasp or pick up anything without a yelp and inability to complete the action. Looking at the pictures of splints that Chris @artscaping posted, I feel they would ease things somewhat. My doc is scheduled to phone today so I'll tell her about my latest malady. Signed, "Calamity Jane"!

REPLY
@sueinmn

Have you seen an orthopedic or hand surgeon for diagnosis? Pain from both MCP and CMC joints is similar, treatment differs, but both begin with complete evaluation, progress to hand therapy including splinting, and as a last resort may require surgery.
In each case, strengthening exercises and a properly fitted splint can often help a great deal.
Sue

Jump to this post

thanks in the uk particularly post covid getting to see anyone in secondary care is almost impossible, seen a specialist hand physio who says to use compression bandage / taping / wrist brace for periods butt at 73 the potential for much change is limited just symptom management

REPLY
@lotsofpain

thanks in the uk particularly post covid getting to see anyone in secondary care is almost impossible, seen a specialist hand physio who says to use compression bandage / taping / wrist brace for periods butt at 73 the potential for much change is limited just symptom management

Jump to this post

@lotsofpain

I had thumb pain at age 68… I tried injections and splinting first, but to no avail. I had surgery in late January and again in first part of June of last year. Many have had the surgery up into their late 80s… it depends upon your overall health here in my area of USA.. the southwest section of Georgia.

I could not write even my name. For some reason my surgeon did not take care of the trigger thumb while doing the tight-rope surgery for the cmc joint. (I may have the letters wrong.. a bit tired from 9 days 8 nights of grandchildren 😁). So had the trigger thumb surgery in June of last year.. which I was mostly awake for.. kind of twilight for about 10 minutes. The cmc surgery was less than an hour. There are several types of surgery for it.

I had about 10 physical therapy sessions before covid hit. They were not good therapist.. they had rather look at their phones and laptops instead of showing one how to correctly do an exercise.. pretty much threw something in front of me and said do it .. and I had to ask what I was doing and the correct way to do it.

Since my therapy time was cut from the picture… mostly my choice.. I looked online for exercise videos to help me recover. I am now back to crocheting.. albeit slow going and needing rest periods. Back to other things I enjoy… writing, coloring, brushing and petting the dog.. and back to hand washing our dishes.. without dropping them. I will be 70 in a few weeks 🥳

I really wish I could be of more help. I know you are in a lot of pain. Before bed you might try a warm hand soak or heating pad or use ice if it feels better… then use a bit of arthritic cream. It only eases a little, but I take a little over nothing.
ZeeGee

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment