Your thumbs play a pivotal role in your daily life. Your ability to grasp objects, use tools, write and perform other tasks necessary for work are possible thanks to your thumbs. Experiencing pain in this area or losing its function could make daily tasks a challenge. Unfortunately, overuse result in injuries.
Causes of thumb pain
Sometimes, the area around your thumbs might feel a little sore or uncomfortable if you use your hands a lot at work. Apart from overuse, stress and trauma can contribute to thumb pain. Here are some of the causes of thumb pain:
- Sprain: A thumb sprain happens when the ligament that holds the thumb tears. This can occur when the thumb is bent beyond its normal range, such as while catching a ball or falling on an outstretched hand.
- Arthritis: While thumb arthritis often occurs due to aging, other factors like overuse can also cause it. Work that requires repetitive hand motions such as sewing or performing factory work may gradually cause severe discomfort.
- Trigger finger: This happens when inflammation in the tendon sheath keeps the thumb bent. People with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to experience this, although it can also happen after an unusually strong squeeze or grip.
- De Quervain’s tenosynovitis (DQT): Pain in the thumb side of the wrist could be a sign of DQT which results from inflammation of the tendons. Performing repetitive motions such as writing, typing or using a hammer can cause DQT.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: Inflammation around the wrist area can extend to the thumbs, causing a tingling sensation and restricting mobility. Injuries, repetitive hand motions and health disorders can lead to carpal tunnel.
The discomfort you may be experiencing could prevent you from working productively and require medical attention.
What you can do
Using a splint, taking medicine, stopping the activities that cause the injury, and in extreme cases, surgery, may be necessary for thumb injuries. However, these might be difficult to carry out if your job requires you to use your hands.
Choosing not to treat your thumb injuries could make them worse. Your quality of life may decline as you experience reduced movement, numbness and increasing pain.
Suffering a work-related thumb injury may qualify for workers’ compensation. Eligible applicants can receive financial assistance for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and lost wages. To help you better understand your eligibility, benefits and legal options, consider speaking with a workers’ compensation attorney.