Thumb Pain Treatment

There are a variety of options for thumb pain treatment.  Typical conservative treatment options focus on reducing local joint inflammation and can include oral anti-inflammatory medication, topical anti-inflammatory creams, and even injections. 

Another conservative treatment option to reduce thumb pain is physical therapy.  Exercises can help to improve joint mobility, improve strength of thumb muscles, and improve function.



The following are a sample of exercises that can be utilized for improving range of motion as well as strength.  Restoring both mobility and strength are key to restoring function. 




Thumb Stretching Exercises


THUMB ABDUCTION STRETCH


Grasp the thumb and pull it away from the palm as shown.  Hold for 20 seconds.  Repeat two stretches, three times a day.


THUMB MCP FLEXION STRETCH


Grasp the affected thumb at the closest joint and gently stretch it into a more bent position.  Hold for 20 seconds.  Repeat two stretches, three times a day.

THUMB EXTENSION STRETCH - TABLE


Place your hand palm face down on a table and use your other hand to gently pull your thumb away from the hand for a stretch as shown.  Hold for 20 seconds.  Repeat two stretches, three times a day.


THUMB EXTENSOR STRETCH


Grip your thumb with your fingers and then bend your wrist downward as shown for a gentle stretch along your forearm.  Hold for 20 seconds.  Repeat two stretches, three times a day.




Thumb Strengthening Exercises


CLOTHES PIN PINCH


Use 2 fingers and pinch a clothes pin or chip clip.  Hold for 10 seconds.  Repeat 10 times, three times per day. 

RUBBER BAND EXTENSION


Expand a rubber band wrapped around your fingers.    Perform two sets of 10 repetitions, three times per day. 

 

PUTTY PINCH


Roll up some putty to create a small tubular section. Next, pinch the putty and repeat down the section.   Perform two sets of 10 pinches, three times a day. 



TOWEL PINCH


Using your thumb and index finger, pinch and hold a small folded up towel for 5 seconds.  Repeat 10 times, three times a day. 


TOWEL KEY GRIP PINCH


Using your thumb and the side of your index finger, pinch and hold a small folded up towel for 5 seconds.  Repeat 10 times, three times a day.

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