Why Does My Thumb Hurt?

By Julia Guthart CHT/OT

Why Does My Thumb Hurt?

One of the most common reasons for thumb pain is “Trigger Thumb” where a tendon “locks” or “clicks” as it passes through a pulley or tunnel. This painful area is located on the underside of the thumb and is sometimes worse in the morning. Sometimes you feel a ball or bump in the area. Home remedies include heat or ice for 10 minutes and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naproxen.

Thumb Pain

Thumb painful – skeleton x-ray

Another common source of thumb pain is arthritis and affects the base of your thumb. Sometimes there is swelling or a “bump” in the area. Home remedies include a splint from a discount pharmacy to support the thumb and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.

Texter’s Thumb is another source of pain and involves the tendons that pass over the wrist and thumb on the backside of the hand/wrist. Taking a break from texting or video games is helpful as are the use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and splinting.

Thumb Pain – GameKeepers Thumb

A common injury that causes thumb pain is “skier’s thumb” or “game keeper’s thumb” and involves a ligament sprain of the thumb joint. This injury can be caused by a simple fall – you don’t have to have been skiing to get it. It might be painful when you try to lift a glass of water or a larger jar with that hand. This needs evaluation by a physician.
Nothing makes you aware of clichés like a painful thumb…” sticks out like a sore thumb” comes to mind when everything you try to do hurts your thumb.

Want to learn more about orthopedics and physical therapy? Click HERE to watch our YouTube videos!

JOI Fracture and Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904) JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician

Skip to content