Thumb joint pain: What are the causes?

Thumb joint pain can cause difficulty in performing daily tasks. There are various causes of thumb joint pain such as conditions and injuries affecting the soft tissues and bones. There is pain or discomfort right after trauma to the thumb or occur in a gradual manner. Due to the possibility of serious medical conditions such as infection that causes thumb joint pain, a doctor must be consulted to pinpoint the exact cause.

What are the usual causes of thumb joint pain?

Arthritis

This is the usual cause of thumb joint pain. The first and second joints of the thumb are typically affected by osteoarthritis. If an individual has osteoarthritis, the cartilage providing padding between the bones in the joints wears out. This causes the bones to rub together, resulting to thumb joint pain.

Thumb joint pain: What are the causes?
There are various causes of thumb joint pain such as conditions and injuries affecting the soft tissues and bones.

Tendon injury

The tendons are responsible for connecting the muscles to the bones in the thumb. These attach closely to the joints to allow bending and straightening of the tip and base of the thumb as well as move from side to side.

Once these tendons are overly stretched, pain is triggered. The inflammation causes the tendon to swell, increasing the friction and pain when the thumb is moved. Remember that these injuries usually affect the tendons that bend and straighten the tip of the thumb, resulting to thumb joint pain.

Bone damage

Any form of fracture in the thumb bones can also trigger pain. The common fracture involving the thumb joint is a Bennett fracture. The injury affects the thumb joint and can cause swelling and bruising around the joint.

Ligament damage

The ligaments are responsible for keeping the joints stable. Overstretching or trauma can impair the ligaments in the thumb.

Injuries to the ligament of the thumb triggers sharp thumb joint pain on the site where the thumb meets the hands. The pain is intensified during activities that require pinching. Even though the stretched ligaments often recuperate with rest and splinting, severe cases of tears might require surgery.

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