Thumb Sprain

Alex Clarke Ashgrove Physiotherapist

Article by Alex Clarke

What is a Sprained Thumb?

When the thumb is bent out of it's normal range of movement (usually backwards), damage occurs to the ligaments supporting the joint at the bottom of the thumb (metacarpo-phalangeal joint). It is common in skiing, contact sports and ball sports such as basketball and netball.

What are the Symptoms of a Sprained Thumb?

  • Pain when the thumb is bent backwards.
  • Pain in the web of the thumb when it is moved.
  • Swelling over the joint at the bottom of the thumb.
  • Laxity and instability in the joint.

If there is a lot of laxity and instability in the joint a total rupture may be suspected in which case the injury requires surgery.

What Long will it take a Sprained Thumb to Heal?

Most athletes are able to return to sport within 4 to 6 weeks depending on severity of injury - sometimes sooner. It is important that strengthening exercises are done to restore stability and prevent re-injury. If the injury is not treated properly then there is a greater risk of re-injury and permanent instability which will eventually require surgery.

Common Treatments for a Sprained Thumb

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Avoid the HARM Factors
  • Soft Tissue Injury? What are the Healing Phases?
  • What to do after a Muscle Strain or Ligament Sprain?
  • Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Brace or Support
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Heat Packs
  • Joint Mobilisation Techniques
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Physiotherapy Instrument Mobilisation (PIM)
  • Prehabilitation
  • Strength Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Call PhysioWorks

    Book Online

    FAQs about Thumb Sprains

  • Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
  • When Should Diagnostic Tests Be Performed?
  • How Does Kinesiology Tape Reduce Swelling?
  • Heat Packs. Why does heat feel so good?
  • How Much Treatment Will You Need?
  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • What are the Common Massage Therapy Techniques?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • When Can You Return to Sport?
  • Why Kinesiology Tape Helps Reduce Swelling and Bruising Quicker
  • Helpful Products for Sprained Thumb

    Thumb Sprain

    Related Injuries

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Cramps
  • de Quervain's Tenosynovitis
  • DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
  • Finger Sprain
  • Muscle Strain
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • RSI - Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Thumb Sprain

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    Last updated 10-Aug-2017 10:09 AM

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