Thumb and wrist pain: 6 Self-treatment tips

by Christina Abbott on June 5, 2009

Here are 6 tips for treating your painful thumb and wrist that I teach in my Neuromuscular Therapy center near Boston. There are two basic stretches, three tips for self-applied pressure and one strengthening exercise.

Stretch for thumb tendonitis (deQuervains tenosynovitis): Enclose your thumb in your fist and cock your wrist till you feel a pull on the back side of your forearm. Now rotate your fist away from your body turning the thumb side of your hand toward the floor. With your other hand, assist the stretch, trying to close the angle between the pinkie finger side of your hand and your arm.

thumbstretchdeqgrp6

Self-treatment the adductor of the index finger: Open your hand and spread your fingers, then lightly hold the web of that thumb between the thumb and fingers of the opposite hand. Bring the index finger of the hand you are treating closer to your thumb and feel the muscle that tightens up. That’s the muscle that can pull the joint out of position at the base of your thumb. So if you squeeze that muscle where it hurts and hold the pressure until you feel a change (10-20 sec.), you’ll release the tension in the muscle and therefore the pressure in the joint that’s causing the pain.

thumbwebtx1stdor

Self-treating intrinsic (within the thumb) muscles: If the pain is caused by these short muscles of the thumb, there are two places to treat. The first is that same web as above between the thumb and index finger but closer into the angle where the bones meet. The second place is the fleshy part of your thumb called the thenar eminence.  Just feel for places that hurt when you squeeze them and hold the pressure until the muscle begins to relax. Don’t be nervous, you can’t harm yourself. The places that hurt are the places to touch!

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Stretch for intrinsic (local) muscles: Open your hand and spread your fingers. Grab your entire thumb with your other hand. Exhale as you try to stretch open that angle between your thumb and fingers, continuing to use the power of your own muscles to spread your hand. Hold for two seconds, release and repeat 10 times. Now in the same position, reach your thumb backwards away from your palm and assist that stretch with your other hand.

thumbstrintgrp

Self-treating extrinsic thumb muscles (in the forearm): Treating the muscles in the forearm can be a bit awkward. Here are a few suggestions.

Using your hands: Place the thumb of one hand on the back side of the other forearm facing in opposite directions to one another.  Wrap your fingers around your wrist to stabilize your thumb and press your thumb into the soft space between the two bones of your forearm. Search up your arm in that space for places that hurt and hold the pressure for 12-20 seconds or until you feel less pain. Repeat on the inside of your arm, keeping toward the radius bone on the thumb side. If you don’t have enough strength or have RSI, try a supported thumb position, making a fist with your thumb extended and supported against your fist.

forearmtxthmgrp

Using a pressure tool: (Knobble, Omni Roller Ball or small ball like golf or high-bounce rubber) This is good for people with a Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI). Place the tool on a flat surface or against the wall and lean on the tool wherever it hurts. Hold the pressure for 12-20 seconds. Alternatively, hold the tool in the palm of one hand and find a place that hurts on your other forearm. For the outer side of your forearm, support your arm on a table or your leg. For the inner side, put your arm and hand between your knees and squeeze your knees together to get pressure on those tender places. Hold for 12-20 seconds.

forearmtxknbgrp

Strengthening and balancing the joint at the base of your thumb: Wrap an elastic band around your fingers and thumb. Open your hand and spread your fingers to stretch your thumb away from your fingers. Hold for two seconds, release and repeat 10 times. Start with an easy thin elastic and work your way up to the wider stronger ones.

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

nancy August 20, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Thank you for posting your thumb and wrist exercises. I have had increased pain in both of my wrists over the past few months. Not having very good results with the pain control: sed rate & X-rays were neg. My orthopedic MD believes that it is fibromyalgia,
which I have had for awhile, but nothing like the pain and discomfort that I have had in my wrists. Exercise is supposed to be the key for fibro. Thanks

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Christina Abbott August 21, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Hi Nancy,
If you have fibromyalgia then your body is already hypersensitive, so overuse for you would create pain more quickly than for the average person. I agree that exercise is important, especially some cardio and Active Isolated Stretching. This applies to the local pain you are having in your thumbs and wrist as well as the fibromyalgia. You want to increase the flow of blood to your muscles and clear the waste products that accumulate and cause pain. Lengthening the muscles keeps them healthy. If you keep at the stretches I gave you, it should help to maintain a reasonable comfort level at the very least. Good wishes for your recovery! Christina

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Angelica February 5, 2010 at 6:11 pm

I am so greatful for this website. I am a college student and find it impossible to function without my notebook. Recently I got a sharp pain in my mucle below the thumb. I didnt know what to do. I tried some of your stretching techinques and almost instantly the pain was gone. Thank you so much!

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Christina Abbott February 7, 2010 at 10:52 am

Comments like yours are what makes spending all this unpaid time writing worthwhile. I’m glad you were helped and I hope there are more like you out there.

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Jermon April 12, 2010 at 6:43 pm

OMG!! Christina you are a sweetie for this post!! I have been worrying about my injury as i don’t have a physician or insurance. Those stretches and thumb treatments target the main area that i’m experiencing discomfort with. My intrinsic muscle(i believe) between my thumb and index finger, has swollen over time. Although my grip has not been affected, from time to time i feel a wierd feeling there after doing housework or chores. My question is how long of a time period should it take to heal and can you plz advise as to how often i should be self treating? Once, twice a day for ? minutes.

Thanks for your time and i will subscribe to your blog feed as i am very happy to find this info.

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Christina Abbott April 26, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Hi J,
Glad it’s helping. Intrinsic means within the hand. It’s either the 1st dorsal interosseous or the adductor pollicis. Both are right there. It sounds like this is the first time you’ve had pain there, so if you’re diligent about stretching and self-treating, it should clear up quickly. In the beginning, the more you treat and stretch the better. It’s hard to overdo it unless your technique is off. When compressing the web of muscle, hold the pressure (no manipulation) up to 20 seconds or until you feel less pain or release. You can safely go back three times if you don’t feel a change. Stretches can also be done several times a day using the AIS method: stretch actively, assist for two seconds, and release. Repeat 10 times per set.
Let me know if you need more help.
Best regards, Christina

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Erik April 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Thank you! I’ve had pain developing in both wrists and thumbs for days now, but these tips are helping a lot. Very much appreciated!

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Christina Abbott April 26, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Hi Erik,
Thanks for reading! Please pass on the link to your friends.
Cheers! Christina

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Rishi May 10, 2010 at 6:20 am

Hi Christina,

Your post is really helpful. I tried using the exercises mentioned but not much benefit. My right hand thumb is still very stiff, can’t type on keywords or any other work with it.
Earlier there was pain in all my right hand fingers, then I took some pain killers and that was gone.
Now from past 2 weeks I am having pain in my right thumb, which is becoming more and more frequent.
Can you suggest ?

Thanks

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Christina Abbott May 24, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Hi Rishi,
With repetitive use, the muscles in your arms and hands get tighter and tighter. Pain meds are like a “bandaid.” They just cover up the symptoms. If you are using the computer or a texting device for many hours a day, you are probably getting “Repetitive Stress” that can turn into an injury. This is a complicated problem in our technology generation and there are many people with the same pains. Lately I have been writing a whole series of posts on arm and hand pain because of it. Go back in the blog to the first post “Arm and hand pain: A checklist of causes” and do some reading. If you educate yourself about it you can better figure out why you are in trouble, get control over it and heal. It takes work and it doesn’t get better overnight. So start now, be consistent and you can get well.
Here’s to your healing!
Christina

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Anneliese May 28, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Hi~

I have De Quervain’s syndrome in my thumb/wrist areas and am in a ton of pain since mid-Feb. Have tried physical therapy (they did ionophoresis) and it just feels like it is getting worse and worse despite splinting and rest. Any feedback on what I should be doing would be great!

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Christina Abbott May 28, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Hi Anneliese,
It is painful, I know. Be careful that your splint is loose. It should only be a reminder, not a constrictor. Blood flow is essential for healing. Be careful also about rest. Movement is important to stimulate blood and lymph circulation to remove the waste products and inflammation that cause pain and to bring healing. Move normally, but restrict movement of your thumb in ways that hurt. You want to prevent those two tendons from rubbing against each other in that restricted sleeve until the swelling is reduced.
Icing is very important. Find a soft gel type pack that you can wrap around your wrist extending down to the first joint of your thumb and up to the middle of your forearm. Apply the ice for no more than 5 minutes at a time and repeat several times a day. To create healing you need to create change in the tissue. Short applications of ice force your body to flush fresh blood through the capillary beds to warm up the tissue. That brings in healing cells and takes out heat and pain-causing chemicals.
Lastly, do that stretch you see in the blog where you tuck your thumb into your fist and cock your wrist to stretch the involved muscles.
You can heal this!

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Rie May 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Hi Christine,
Just reading my google search and found your web information.

I’ve recently pulled muscles in my wrists and thumbs (both hands). I continue to work as a cashier with wrist thumb support. No insurance though. Can I dig in friend’s yard to plant small shrubs. I am in pain, yet this is exercise and maybe good for me.

I will put cold compress on both hands, wrists and forearms (5 minutes at a time). Then, I will apply warm espsom salts solution for 5 minutes too. What’s the best way: cool, warm, rest. Then, repeat a few times during the day?

Is age a factor? Just had a birthday? Thanks.

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admin December 22, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Hi Rie, With your job, you get repetitive use of your finger muscles. They need to be stretched out regularly, like an athlete before a practice or event. I know it’s hard to think of your hands as being athletic, but with all the use you give them, they really are! So be diligent about stretching and icing and see if you can find someone experienced with this injury type who can treat all the muscles in your forearm with deep pressure. Sometimes the muscles need a little help to get over the initial tension.

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Nicolette May 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Boy, what Anneliese wrote could have been written by me! The doctor is not calling it that name though..I was backed into by a truck (holding steering wheel) and felt sharp pain in wrist and thumb since early Feb..nothing has seemed to help. Slight movement really hurts even when just trying to go to sleep and then sometimes it seems ok..but it is not. I will try these exercises. I have been wearing a splint brace since March and doctor wants me to now get one that hinders movement of thumb. I am getting so frustrated as I can hardly do things and I have much to do! Thanks!

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admin December 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Hi Nicolette, Moving your thumb away from your index finger and outward away from your palm are the things that make it worse, so restricting the use of your thumb will help. Make sure the splint is not tight enough to restrict blood flow and take it off at night. Do the icing and stretching routine regularly (several times a day for a week) and it should help. Then be sure to do your maintenance.

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Vicki June 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Hi,
Thank you for this outline. The first exercise I could feel the pressure released right away. I’ve dealt with this for a long time and have gone to several massage therapists and Chiropractor. They all helped temporarily.
We have new grandchildren and its so hard to trust my thumbs due to the weakness. My husband and I both have this – we were thinking it was from our water or something we either were eating or our sleeping habits.
Thanks for your site!!!!
Take Care

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admin December 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Glad I could help, Vicki!

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Shari June 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm

I am deffinately going to try your stretches and exercises. I am a dog groomer who had to take last week off due to swelling, pain, and no strength. the doctor i went to gave me muscle relaxers, and pain meds which i have used. She is sending me for bloodwork to check out diabetes and arthritis. I am back to work soon so i am hoping with the things you show i will be able to get my show back on the road. Also on occasion my other hand gets stuck so i will be working on both. Thanks for the help.

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admin December 22, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Hi Shari, Read the entry on the Brachioradialis muscle. Sounds like that’s part of it. The stretches for the thumb should help with regular icing. Hope you feel better soon!

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M June 16, 2011 at 8:12 am

I have DeQuervine’s in both hands, thumbs.
Two years now, nothing helps.
I cry trying to wash my hair.
I have tried three different R. nothing helps.
Have been in PT 9 mo. last year.
Started with a new one this year. If the pain does not stop soon, I do not know
how much more I can handle.

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admin December 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm

I feel badly for you and hope one of your therapists can do manual treatment. Exercising and splinting doesn’t always help and often makes it worse. You need treatment plus icing/stretching properly several times a day to improve. Be courageous and diligent in your home program. Good luck.

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Clio June 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Thank you for the exercises. I’m a musician (violist) and have been recovering from tendinitis for almost 10 months. Recently (after very tiring and intense project) I have started to get pain more specifically in the wrist under the thumb. It is not yet severe but I need to find a way to manage it to be able to maintain a full playing schedule (6 hours a day). Do you have any more specific suggestions?

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admin December 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Hi Clio,
I assume it’s your fingering hand, not your bow hand. Opening your thumb to hold the neck of the violin requires the use of the abductor and extensor muscles, so this blog entry on DeQuervains syndrome should help. With a heavy practice schedule, you need to be diligent about icing and stretching before you play and about taking breaks to ice and stretch again a few times during your session. Use the stretch I give about enclosing your thumb in your fist, rotating thumb down, cocking wrist to fleshy side of arm, lifting fist with other hand toward the sky, holding for 2 seconds and repeating 10 times. I would also highly recommend finding a therapist who can treat the muscles in your forearm with deep pressure and “gliding” to loosen up those overused muscles. Doing so will give you more stamina and quicker movement with your fingers.

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Maki July 4, 2011 at 3:14 am

Wow… I have this pain on my wrist and spread to my thump for
months on my left side. Just one time doing this exercise it reduced so much already . So amazing ; doctor said pain will go away after I deliver baby but it seems better after the exercise. Thanks sooooo much!

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admin December 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Wonderful! Glad I could help!

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christopher jacob July 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I play guitar,and this pain is a recurrence.This site hit the nail on the head with pin pointing the problem. thanks.

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admin December 22, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Hi Christopher, This is a common problem with musicians. Glad I could help!

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Linda August 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Hi Christina, I think I have the intrinsic thumb muscle problem and I tried some of your exercises which seemed to help. There is a “bump/swelling” on the midle on my palm for about three months now, then over night my thumb started hurting. Every morning I wake up and can’t move my thumb without a popping type feeling in the knuckly areaof the thumb. It is very painful to squeeze the fleshy base of the thumb but I am doing that too. Thank you so much for your help. I have had this problem ever since I sprained my wrist on the other hand which still hasn’t healed but I am working on that one too.

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admin December 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Hi Linda,
Go to the section of the blog that talks about the abductor of the index finger. Sounds like that’s part of the problem.

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Marie August 15, 2011 at 8:07 pm

OMG – you hit the problem right on!!! I’m soo glad I found this blog! I’ve been putting off going to the doctor because I know it’s going to be pain meds, immobilizing it and physical therapy and I can’t afford all that crap and I don’t have time for it either. School is starting and I’m studying exercise science – I’m going to be a personal trainer……and I need my thumb!!! Thanks so much.

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admin December 22, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Good luck. This will be a good learning experience for you! Lots of people who work out get these kinds of injuries, so you’ll be better equipped to help them.

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jessica August 23, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Ok so my problem is .,. that 2 years ago i cut my thumb and cut a nerve i had surgery to repair my nerve back to normal and everything went well but recently my thumb has been hurting the kind of same way it did when i cut myself back 2 years ago im wondering what could be going on in there ? i havent hurt my hand or thumb at all so this has me even more curious as to whats going on

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admin December 22, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I would guess you just need more maintenance, like lots of the stretches I’ve recommended in the Repetitive Stress Injury category. Unfortunately, nerves take a long time to regenerate, and with this kind of injury, you’ve probably stressed other muscles and tendons and with the casting from surgery, tendons and ligaments tighten up.. Keep stretching and working the muscles in your forearm. You would benefit by having some kind of intelligent specific deep tissue work for all of the forearm, with a focus on the muscles that move your thumb.

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Ida August 26, 2011 at 4:12 am

Hi, i am suffering from swollen thumb and painful wrist, I have repetitive use of my thumb fingers, arms due to packaging products on boxes. I will try these stretches and will tell u the developments in a week. Im positve this will work. Thank You so much. Ida of NZ

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admin December 22, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Make sure you ice regularly and see if you can find someone to treat your muscles for several sessions to get you over the hump.

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Carey September 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm

been reading ur blog wanted to ask u something .. a year ago i ened up completely tearing my Scapholunate ligament .. i had two surgrey and still having a shapr pain at base my thumb at wrest doc no help i wondering if u ever seen that .. i frustrated with all this and shapr pain seems worse now after the scnd surgrey then after the first .. i just wondering what happing here any suggestions what could be? xrays are showing neg …

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admin December 22, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Never had that come up, but usually with surgery and casting, the tendons shorten, get stiff and require months of stretching, even when it hurts. Do the stretches recommended for DeQuervains syndrome plus stretch all of the flexors and the brachioradialis. (see other blog entries for those) Then I would recommend 5″ applications of moist heat to soften the connective tissue before you do your stretches. I think the problem is compression of the joints in your wrist. When you have pain, use ice instead of heat, again for 5″ only. You’ll have to keep at it for a long time to make a difference.

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suzanne la rose November 2, 2011 at 11:53 am

hello christina, i am really enjoying this page and am very hopeful that it will prevent the numbing of my hand at night which has been happening now for two or three years.
i do have a problem with my wrist which hurts often on both sides towards the end of the night. i try sleeping with my arm in all sorts of positions to avoid this numbing but it doesn’t really help.
do you have any advice – it would be very much appreciated.
thanks
suzanne

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admin December 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Hi Suzanne, I don’t usually like to recommend splinting, but it sounds as if you need to wear a carpal tunnel splint that prevents wrist movements at night. Keep it off during the day to let the blood circulate. If that doesn’t help, try sleeping on your back with your hands on your thighs to prevent bending at the elbow, another place that can cause numbness. If you are sleeping on your side, you may be getting compression of the brachial plexus at the front of your shoulder. Give those things a try. I would also recommend that you get some muscle therapy (hands-on treatment) for all of the muscles of your forearm, the biceps in your upper arm and the pectoralis minor muscle in your chest. Let me know how you do.

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esther November 23, 2011 at 3:30 am

Hi
I have a de quervain’s tendonitis in my thumb and want to get rid of my pain. I enjoied to read your post. So I should do exersizes dispite the pain and splinting? Some theory suggest to avoid activitvities that couse pain and swelling. Any feed back will be appriciated. How i can found more of your posts that relate to my prolems?

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admin December 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Hi Esther,
I just replied to a comment for someone else and posted it. That should help you too. Look for the post on the comment section of the blog. Let me know how you do.

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martha November 24, 2011 at 1:06 pm

My husband frequently plays the guitar and it’s been 3months since he started feeling pain (without numbness or swelling) below his left hand thumb and just above the wrist. The most painful episode happened a few days ago when he was playing basketball. It got so bad he could no longer grip the ball properly he had to leave the game. When we got home, we applied hot compress to the area. Not even sure if it did anything to decrease the pain.

Two days ago, he went to a masseur and was relieved when he came home with his hand feeling better. But the pain was still there he admitted. And now, after 2 days from his massage, the pain is back to its usual strength.

I guess we have to try icing it (no more hot compress!^^)and we’ll also try the 6 self-treatment tips here. We’re hoping this isn’t something serious as to require surgery, or worse, prevent him from playing his music… We need all the help we could get.

..so thanks for your posts and advices. Keep it up.

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admin December 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Hi Martha,
Sounds like the beginning of DeQuervains syndrome to me which includes the Extensor pollicis brevis and Abductor pollicis longus. The two tendons rub together in a common sheath and cause inflammation and pain. Movement of the thumb muscles increases the friction and heat increases the inflammation, so use ice several times a day and try to use the self-treatment techniques outlined, pressure on the outside (bony side) of the forearm, not on the tendon where it hurts. There is also a stretch where you enclose the thumb in the fist, rotate the hand thumb down, cock it toward the fleshy side of the arm and lift the fist toward the sky with your other hand. Hold for 2 seconds and repeat. Ice and stretch several times a day for a week. That should help.

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Alexia July 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Dear Christina,
I have been diagnosed with Dequervains and have been in pain since January! It started 4 months after I gave birth to our first child and nothing I’ve tried has helped. Physio, chiropractor… nothing. Orthopedic says I need surgery but I’m avoiding that! I want to heal. In the mornings it is the worst when any tiny movement of my thumb causes pain to shoot up my arm. I cannot extend or open up my hand completely because it hurts terribly on the thumb side of my wrist. Even the bone on the wrist seems to have gotten bigger. When I close my thumb in my wrist and cock it down the range of movement is minimal compared to if I do it with my other hand. Strangley the chiropractor told me we need to bring heat to help the healing and not ice….? so I’m spraying on something every 2 hrs to make heat on the area. Please could you help… I know you have mentioned some exercises / stretches on this blog but not sure if I just have to do the one stretch for Thumb Tendonitis or all of the exercises / stretches you mention. What are your views about the surgery? Can I heal without the surgery? Have you experiences someone healing without the surgery? Oh, I am wearing a splint but I must be honest It was on pretty tight the past 2 weeks and I was even sleeping with it under instruction from the Chiropractor… ! Appreciate any comments and advice. P.S. I LOVE YOUR BLOG!

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Christina Abbott July 16, 2013 at 11:16 am

Hi Alexia,
Yes, I have good success with DeQ syndrome. The muscles on the dorsal side of your forearm that work the thumb are tight and making the tendons that run together through the tendon sheath rub together causing heat and inflammation. At this point, treating the muscles so they don’t tighten the tendons is most important while at the same time calming the inflammation. The splint is ok temporarily, but compression slows the blood flow which prevents healing. Ice stops inflammation, heat increases it. What is important is blood, to bring healing and take away the heat. 5″ applications of ice to the wrist several times daily will help that, but unless you decrease the tension in the muscles, it will only happen again. If you can’t find a Neuromuscular Therapist in your area try to find a massage therapist who knows the anatomy of the arm and can treat those two muscles. The one specific stretch I give for the thumb is most important. Ice first. Inflammation causes damage to soft tissue, so get that under control. You can heal without the surgery if you are aggressive in treating the muscles. Let me know how you are progressing.
Christina

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jason November 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm

hello

thank you for the information.. i am a guitarist and the fleshy part of my palm thumb area is constantly being worked out,, its not that it hurts per say it that i am working it out a lot and find that i can never get a good stretch i have done all these exercise and do strengthen my forearms and hand.. i feel that i am damaging my thumb by stretching it so much i can go real far back and i never feel a good stretch,

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admin December 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Hi Jason,
Sometimes there is no substitute for hands-on therapy. RSI patients need treatment to get out of the hole, then your body can take over and the stretches will work. Look for someone in your area who knows the techniques for treatment that I’ve outlined. Wish you were closer so I could help!

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Marge Fiore December 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Thank you so much for posting this clear and informative set of directions!! I work as a writer, and use my hands constantly, so the recent bout of thumb pain was VERY disturbing! I am 53, and recently used my hands much harder than usual (helped my stepson to remove an old roof and install a new one – grabbing shingles, shoveling, hammering…), so I expected a little discomfort, but this was not going away. Your stretches, pressure application methods, and exercises have helped enormously! Thank you again!

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George August 25, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I first noticed pain in the muscles between my thumb and index finger (when pressing the area) a couple of years ago, more severe on my dominant hand. Also on that side I find from time to time that it is sore, causing pain if siting, leaning back and therefore putting pressure on my wrist. I will give your exercises a try, but am unsure about the ice. I have always had colder than average hands and feet, so I wonder whether I’ve might just cool my hands to the point that they won’t warm up again without warm water or by opening and closing my fists, which would surely increase the anaerobic respiration and therefore could worsen any problem? Thank you.

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Christina Abbott September 17, 2013 at 11:11 am

The point is to get the blood flowing in the capillaries under the skin. Try hot moist heat for just a few minutes. Avoid longer applications of heat because it can increase inflammation. You could also try soaking in warm water to soften the connective tissue, but that won’t wake up the circulatory system. Most important is to treat the affected muscles with sustained pressure at places where it hurts locally and especially where you feel referred pain. Holding pressure in the thumb web on the diagonal band of muscle helps this condition. The muscle that moves the index finger in toward your thumb needs to be treated. Working on the long thumb muscles in the underside of your forearm will also help.

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Ro March 1, 2014 at 4:13 pm

I woke up this morning with horrible pain in my thumb.
My husband did one of the pressure moves that you suggested and almost instantly the pain is gone! Thank you ;-)

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Christina Abbott March 1, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Wonderful news!!!!

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Christina Abbott May 24, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Hi Suzan,
Have you tried icing? Sounds as if you have some inflammation. You might also try soaking your hand and wrist in an Epsom Salts bath to remove waste products that cause pain. Keep up with my treatment tips. Be consistent. This may take a while to correct. Your thumb needs to calm the irritation and then rebuild injured tissue. Unfortunately that is a process you can’t hurry. You can get better. Only one other possibility is that Trigger Point pain could be coming from your supinator or brachioradialis muscles. Both can be helped by doing the stretch you see in image no. 1. Keep up the maintenance. You can get better!

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Christina Abbott May 24, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Hey BJ,
The doctor may be right, but it’s more likely a muscle problem. The muscles that grip the bat tightly and that hold and throw the ball are called the flexor muscles. There are a lot of them controlling both the finger grip and the wrist motions. I would suggest going to my information about these flexor muscles to learn about them (knowledge is power!) and then look at the stretches and self-treatment tips I suggest. When the muscles get too tight, they can get painful both from spasms and tension, both slowing down the healing flow of blood and the removal of pain-causing waste products. If left untreated with stretching and manual therapy the, the tension can turn into Trigger Points that will start referring pain away from the affected site as well as causing localized pain. This is a more serious condition, so it’s best to “nip it in the bud.” Doing the stretches, icing and maybe soaking in an Epsom Salts bath will help for a start.

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