The four muscles you’ll find here allow the thumb to be positioned against each other. That is, they allow your thumb to grasp and hold small objects such as a pen, needle, or spoon. With a mobile thumb, you can also text on your phone, grip and turn a doorknob, and carry heavy bags. Thenar Eminence Pain
Thenar Eminence Pain
You use your thumb to complete many of your daily tasks. Over time, these repetitive movements can strain the muscles that control your thumb, causing inflammation and pain.
Read on to learn how pain can be diagnosed, treated, and prevented. Thenar Eminence Pain
How is thumb pain diagnosed?
To assess pain, your doctor will ask you the following:
- When it started
- what were you doing when it started
- the location of your pain and whether it spreads to another location
- if something makes it better or worse, especially a certain movement
- if you have had it before
- your job
- Your activities and hobbies
Your doctor will then examine your hand and focus on the location of the pain. You can try to recreate the pain by moving your thumb or wrist. Thenar Eminence Pain
Thenar eminence compression test
During this test, your doctor may press on the thumb with the thumb to locate the painful area.
Carpal tunnel compression test
A carpal tunnel compression test, where your doctor puts pressure on your carpal tunnel, is a more common test. Your doctor will do this test if he or she suspects that your pain is related to or causing carpal tunnel syndrome.
What causes pain and swelling in the thumb?
The most common reason you experience pain in your thumb is that you have developed overuse syndrome from repetitive thumb movements. The pain is in the thumb because that is where the muscles that move the thumb are located.
One of the most common but easily preventable causes of overuse syndrome is frequent texting with thumbs.
The muscles in your thumb are connected to the ligament that runs on the inside of your wrist above your carpal tunnel. When this ligament becomes inflamed or the tissue in the carpal tunnel swells, it narrows the carpal tunnel and compresses everything within it, including the median nerve. The median nerve, which runs through this tunnel, activates the muscles in the thumb. If the nerve is pinched, it can cause severe pain.
It also works the other way around. Overuse syndrome in the thumb muscles can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist.
Sports injuries, especially baseball injuries, can cause pain. This usually happens when you catch a fast-moving ball with your bare hands or fall on the cue ball after reaching to catch a ball. Thenar Eminence Pain
How to treat thumb pain
If you can stop the activity that is causing the inflammation and pain, the situation will usually improve. Often this is not possible because it is a work activity. When it comes to a hobby or sport, you may not want to stop.
A thumb splint is often used to treat the ball of the thumb. This means that the thumb is stationary so that the muscles cannot be overloaded. This will relieve pain and give your muscles time to heal.
You may not be able to wear the splint all the time if it affects your ability to do your job, but you should wear it whenever possible.
Other medical treatments include:
- Fix the thumb with kinesiology tape
- Steroid injections
- Acupuncture, acupressure, or dry needling
Things you can do yourself at home are:
- Cool the area with ice for 10 minutes three to four times daily
- For newer pain, use cold therapy
- For more chronic pain, use heat therapy
- Massage the area
- Do thumb and hand stretches
How to prevent thumb pain
The best way to prevent this pain from occurring or recurring is to avoid activities that require repetitive thumb movements.
Sometimes you can’t stop these activities because they are necessary for your job or because you want to continue the activity that caused them. In this case, you need to take regular breaks to rest the muscles that control the thumb.
You can also find alternative ways to perform the activity without putting too much strain on your thumb.
Stretching the thumb and hand muscles can also help prevent the muscles from stiffening. Here are some good stretches for the thumb:
- Gently slide your thumb back toward your forearm while spreading your other fingers apart.
- Press your palm down on a flat surface, keeping your thumb and index finger as far apart as possible.
- Place your hand on a flat surface, palm up, and gently lean your elbow toward your thumb as you move it through the area.
Who is at risk for thumb pain?
Many jobs, sports activities, and leisure interests increase the risk of pain and inflammation in the thumb. Some of them are:
- Occupations that often use computers or hand tools
- Message therapy
- ice hockey
- Sew and knit
Pain in the thumb is usually due to overuse syndrome caused by repetitive thumb movements. Improvement usually occurs through a combination of medical treatments and home remedies.
Sometimes you can prevent this pain by avoiding activities that require repetitive thumb movements. If this is not possible, it can be good to take regular breaks and stretch during activity.
What causes numbness in my thumb and how do I treat it?
Many things can cause numbness in the thumb, from simple overuse to underlying conditions that require medical treatment.
What is numbness in the thumb?
Loss of feeling in any part of the body can be worrying. But loss of sensation in one or both thumbs can seem particularly strange. Numbness in the thumb can make these and many other tasks significantly more difficult.
In the thumbs and other areas, numbness is usually accompanied by other sensations. This may include tingling, burning, or stinging. It may be difficult to bend or move the thumb if it feels numb.
What causes numbness in the thumbs?
There are many possible causes of thumb numbness. Some are more serious than others. It is important to look at your overall health to determine what may be causing the numbness. The most common causes of thumb numbness include:
Anxiety, fatigue, and stress
People with anxiety, fatigue, and stress often experience numbness in various parts of the body, including fingers and hands.
Chest pain, dizziness, nausea, sweating, tingling, and rapid heartbeat often accompany numbness. These symptoms also often occur during a panic attack.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
It is caused by compression of a nerve that runs through your wrist bones.
Arthritis, bone spurs, and wrist overuse can cause this compression. Other symptoms include tingling, weakness, and a tendency to drop objects due to weakness in the thumb.
Cervical radiculopathy can occur when a nerve in the neck becomes compressed, irritated, or pinched at the point where it separates from the spinal cord due to aging or injury. This often results in pain in the neck that spreads to the shoulder, causing muscle weakness and numbness from the arm to the hand.
High blood sugar levels caused by poorly controlled diabetes can damage nerves throughout the body. It usually causes pain and numbness in the legs and feet. But fingers and hands can also be affected. Problems with the digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels, and heart are often accompanied by pain and numbness.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes muscle pain and fatigue throughout the body for no apparent reason. Numbness and tingling in the fingers, hands, feet, legs, and face are common. In addition, people with fibromyalgia may often experience headaches, digestive problems, and mood disorders.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones that the body needs to regulate metabolism and other body processes. In the early stages, it often causes no symptoms.
If left untreated, it can cause nerve damage, pain, and numbness in the fingers and other parts of the body. It can also cause:
- mental problems
- heart problems
- an enlarged thyroid gland
- congenital anomalies
Pernicious anemia occurs when you don’t have the right proteins to absorb vitamin B12 from food. Your body cannot produce enough red blood cells to stay healthy.
Without treatment, this condition can lead to organ damage, bone weakness, and increase the risk of cancer. This condition can also cause neurological problems and nerve damage, which can lead to numbness in the fingers, hands, and other parts of the body.