Thumb Tendonitis

One of the amazing things about the hand is its ability to pick up and grasp objects.  This picking up and grasping of objects is accomplished by the use of the thumb.  Without the thumb this task would become extremely difficult.

The thumb and its ability to allow the hand to pick up objects is most often taken for granted.  Until we lose the ability and the functionality of the finger (thumb), we don’t realize how important this finger really is.  How can we lose the use of the thumb?  By a condition called thumb tendonitis.  Tendonitis in the thumb can sometimes be confused with a wrist tendonitis symptom.   I will explain how this happens in just a bit.  But first let us examine what thumb tendonitis really is.

What is Tendonitis in the Thumb?

The tendon is a thick fibrous elastic-like band (rubber band) that will connect the muscle to the bone.  When a tendon becomes inflamed, this is known as tendonitis.  If this inflammation of the tendon that runs along the side of the wrist becomes inflamed, this is known as thumb tendonitis or sometimes it can be known as tendonitis in finger.  And once again its location in the wrist is on the same side as the location of the thumb.

Symptoms of Tendonitis in the Thumb

These symptoms of thumb tendonitis are very similar to the other symptoms associated with tendonitis.

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Tenderness

All of the above will be located on the side of the wrist that the thumb is located.  Having the above effect the area of the wrist and the thumb, motion of the thumb is going to be limited.  Some of the actions that we take for granted, such as picking up objects, The simple task of making a fist or even trying to rotate the wrist are going to be limited if not eliminated completely until the tendonitis in the finger has been remedied.

Cause of Thumb Tendonitis

Tendonitis in the finger is typically caused by a couple of different things.  One way is moving the wrist or the thumb in ways that are not typically natural  or awkward movements and the other is due to moving the thumb or wrist the same way over and over.  Repetitive movements such as text messaging can and will cause tendonitis in the thumb due to its repetitive motions.

Wrist tendonitis symptoms or Tendonitis in the Thumb Symptoms

How do you know if you are experiencing thumb tendonitis?  You will have pain in the wrist, close to the thumb.  The pain can be dramatic and quick or can start slowly and get worse over time.  If the tendonitis in finger is severe, you can start to feel the pain up the arm and into the forearm.  You are going to feel more pain when you use the thumb and the wrist more.

If you have edema in your wrist, this is a good sign that you have thumb tendonitis.  You may also start to see a cyst in the wrist area that is associated with the thumb.  The cyst is just fluid typically.  If you start to hear the sound of a snapping rubber band or snapping noise, this could also be another indication.

Tendonitis in the Thumb Treatment

You have to address the symptom.  Placing ice on the wrist, next to the thumb can help relieve some pain and swelling.  The person suffering from thumb tendonitis may take some pain relieving medicine or you can also take some anti-inflammatory medicine.  You can also receive a cortisone shot into the wrist on the thumb side.

The action that you need to do is to immobilize the thumb, which will allow the healing process to begin.  You can splint the effected area to stop the movement of the thumb.

Another alternative can be to have physical tendonitis therapy that can sometimes help with tendonitis in the thumb.  If you are experiencing severe thumb tendonitis, your doctor may recommend corrective surgery.

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