Common Causes of Thumb Pain

You use your thumb all the time for carrying out all kinds of tasks. You could put the blame on many different things each time it feels painful.

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Well, this article will take away all the guesswork — it’s going to tell you some of the most common causes of thumb pain. Of course none of the information below should be taken as professional medical advice that only a health care provider could give. So after reading this article and your thumb keeps on hurting, it’s a good idea to pay your doctor a visit without much delay.


Do you use your smartphone a lot for sending text messages, chatting or playing video games? Do you spend most of your waking hours typing away on a computer keyboard? Then it’s very much likely that your thumb is hurting as a result of overusing it.

Needless to say, you should give your thumb a much-needed break — most of the time, allowing it to rest for several hours to a couple of days is more than enough to get it running pain-free once again.


In some cases, overusing the thumb can cause the tendon at the joint to wind up inflamed. Such is what doctors refer to as tenosynovitis. More often than not, it can be blamed on repetitive movement or use of your thumb — it’s for this reason exactly why it’s also sometimes known as gamer’s thumb.

However, it’s important to note that there are some situations in which tenosynovitis can be due to some other causes. Some examples of those are infections and all kinds of inflammatory conditions.


Especially if you are into sports, it’s very much likely for you to get your thumb sprained. Definitely, getting the ligaments situated in your thumb joint extended more than normal can cause you to experience a great deal of pain especially each time you try to employ the affected thumb.

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Just because you’re not an athlete doesn’t mean that you are impervious to thumb sprain — if you’re careless, it’s very much possible for you to injure your thumb while carrying out everyday chores or tripping over cables.


Consider yourself very fortunate if it’s just thumb sprain that you end up with after an injury. That’s because in some instances you may end up with a fractured thumb after a mishap. Needless to say, this common cause of thumb pain is something that needs immediate medical attention.

A lot of people believe that a fractured body part will look deformed. If truth be told, there are fractures whose presence cannot be identified simply by looking at the injured site — sometimes it is only an x-ray that can determine whether or not a fracture is around.


Just about any joint in your body can suffer from arthritis, and that includes the joint at the base of your thumb which, by the way, is called the basal joint. Needless to say, having thumb arthritis can leave your thumb feeling painful and swollen, and also sometimes stiff especially if you don’t use it for a long time.

Did you know that there are more than a hundred different types of arthritis? The kind that is likely to affect your thumb is called osteoarthritis, and usually it’s due to the wear and tear of the joint tissue.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Last but not least, that achy thumb of yours may be due t carpal tunnel syndrome. Simply put, this is brought about by the compression of the median nerve that goes through a small passage in the wrist joint known as carpal tunnel.

Despite what many people believe, those who constantly type on a computer keyboard are not the only ones who may end up with carpal tunnel syndrome. You are regarded as someone who is at high risk of it if you are obese or overweight, leading a sedentary lifestyle, diabetic, hypertensive or a smoker.

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