Thumb Sprain

Thumb Sprain

Article by Alex Clarke

What is a Sprained Thumb?

When the thumb bends beyond its normal range of movement (usually backwards), damage occurs to the ligaments supporting the joint at the bottom of the thumb (metacarpophalangeal 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 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, suspect a total ligament rupture, in which case the injury requires surgery.

How Long will it take a Sprained Thumb to Heal?

Most athletes can return to sport within 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury – sometimes sooner. Seek professional advice for an accurate diagnosis and subsequent appropriate treatment. Inadequate care may predispose you to re-injury or permanent instability, requiring surgery. It would help if you did strengthening exercises to restore stability and prevent re-injury.

Please consult a trusted hand therapist or doctor.

Common Wrist & Hand Pain or Injuries

Welcome to the Common Wrist & Hand Pain page, where we provide valuable information on various conditions affecting the wrist and hand. Traumatic injuries like broken wrists, fingers, and thumb sprains can cause significant discomfort.

Overuse injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, de Quervain's tenosynovitis, and repetitive strain injury can result from repetitive motions. Additionally, degenerative or systemic conditions such as hand or wrist arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can lead to chronic pain.

We also offer a range of treatment options, including general management strategies, early injury treatment techniques, ergonomics, and physiotherapy modalities like joint mobilisation, muscle treatment, support and protection methods, pain relief approaches such as acupuncture and dry needling, as well as electrotherapy and local modalities like heat packs and TENS machine.

Please click the links below for more information.

Traumatic Injuries

Overuse Injuries

Referred Symptoms

Degenerative or Systemic Conditions

Common Wrist & Hand Pain Treatments

General Management

Treatment Options

Joint Movement

Muscle Treatment

Support & Protection

Pain Relief

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