June 8, 2023

Don’t Let Thumb Pain Stop You This Summer! 

General Health

It’s that time of year when the temperatures rise, the windows and doors of our homes open, and we begin our outdoor projects. We need our hands and especially our thumbs to dig in dirt, mow the lawn, plant flowers, wash windows, and flip burgers, so it’s important to protect our thumbs! We use our thumbs more than any other digit. You can avoid thumb pain by knowing how important your thumbs are and how to protect them from injury.

Did you know…

  • Your thumbs make up 40-60% of your hand use.
  • Your thumb is the only digit that can rotate and position against other fingers in the hand.
  • Thumb pain is more common among women than among men.
  • Thumb pain can begin at any age.
  • Repetitive pinching, pulling, squeezing, twisting, grasping, texting, or sudden trauma can cause thumb pain.
  • Gentle movement and good thumb posture keep the cartilage cushion healthy.
  • Overuse and misuse of the thumb can result in pain or arthritis.
  • When you pinch, 12 times greater force occurs at the base of the thumb rather than at the tip.

So what can you do?

Don’t overuse your thumb. Set down your phone throughout the day and give your thumbs a rest. Be careful when closing doors, hammering nails, or doing other activities that can be risky to thumbs and fingers. If you engage in sports, consider wearing a thumb guard for extra support.

If you do injure your thumb, you can use massage, exercises, splinting, taping, and other joint protection to give your thumb the chance to heal. Have persistent thumb pain or an injury? Visit a hand therapist to learn about your options. Fort HealthCare offers many specialty hand and arm care services including surgery and hand therapy.

We use our thumbs every day. Protect your thumb and you can keep enjoying activities throughout the summer pain free!

Questions? Contact our Therapy & Sport Center to inquire about services or schedule an appointment today.