How to Relieve Thumb Pain

Posted on July 01, 2020 in


, by Northport Wellness Center


Doctor examining patients thumb pain

Thumb pain can present as a tingling or numbness or ache at its base; it can become so uncomfortable and irritating that daily life can be impacted. The common causes of thumb joint pain—which include arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, injury, and De Quervain’s Tendinosis—can be treated with a variety of methods and exercises. 



Early stages of thumb arthritis can be treated with non-surgical therapies and exercises, according to the nonprofit Mayo Clinic. To reduce pain, you can use topical treatments such as capsaicin, a chili pepper extract with pain-relieving properties, and diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. You can also splint our thumb to restrict movement and reduce discomfort, or ice the joint for several minutes a few times per day. Other exercises to ease arthritis pain include making fists, bending your fingers and thumb, lifting, and wrist stretching.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome can result in sensations of burning, tingling, itching or numbness all along the hand and arm, so it’s no surprise you’ll want to ease these symptoms. Similar to arthritis, you can ice your hand or fingers, avoid activities that worsen your condition, and rest your hand more. Wrist splints can also be used at night. 

You can also perform specific exercises to relieve arthritis pain. Stretch and elevate your hands, and keep them warm to avoid stiffness. 

If pain worsens, rehabilitative procedures can help remedy any of these conditions. 


If you’ve experienced an injury to your thumb, rest it using a splint or an elastic bandage, elevate it by keeping your hand raised, and apply an ice pack for 10 minutes every hour the first day after. 

De Quervain’s Tendinosis

If you begin treatment at an early stage, symptoms of De Quervain’s Tendinosis can improve within four to six weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic. To reduce swelling and preserve thumb movement, use a splint or brace to immobilize the impacted area of your hand, and avoid movements that increase pain and pinching with your thumb. Physical therapy and applying ice to the site can also help. 

If pain worsens, rehabilitative procedures can help remedy any of these conditions. 

Nerve block injections can provide temporary or long-lasting relief by preventing pain signals from a nerve to the brain. Sometimes physicians use ultrasound to guide these injections into a specific area. 

Peripheral joint injections contain a local anesthetic to numb a particular area, and a corticosteroid, which acts as an anti-inflammatory, to provide long-lasting pain relief. 

Radiofrequency ablation heats the nerve tissue in pain to stop its signals to the brain. 

Advanced Spine & Joint Recovery

The Northport Wellness Center provides an Advanced Spine & Joint Recovery Program with the following healing opportunities:

Our professionals are specialized in providing the following procedures: nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, ultrasound-guided injections, electrodiagnostic testing, peripheral joining injections, radiofrequency ablation, medial branch blocks, facet joint injections, and sacroiliac joint injections. 

To learn more about the program and how our team of experts can help you and your loved ones experience optimal health, contact us at (631) 262-8505.


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