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Thumb joint pain and swelling

Thumb joint pain

Our arms and hands together with fingers are the most used parts of the body. Whatever activity we are performing, we make the use of our hands and fingers normally. Therefore, our hands and fingers are very susceptible to various disorders and diseases.

When the pain in the thumb appears, it can be quite intense sometimes, and it can expand to the wrist and even forearm. Furthermore, the movement of the finger can be quite limited. Other two symptoms that usually accompany the thumb joint pain are stiffness and swelling.

Causes of thumb joint pain

  • In the majority of cases, the thumb joint starts to ache due to a direct injury to the finger or overuse of it. Moreover, a simple strain or the sprain of the joint is also one of the major causes for the occurrence of thumb joint pain. Quite often, the ulnar collateral ligament sprain leads to the ache in this joint and when this ligament is strained, the condition is called skier’s thumb.
  • The thumb joint pain may also be caused by several medical conditions that are more serious and more difficult to treat than the injuries to this finger.
  • Our joints are protected by a layer of connective tissue or cartilage. When this cartilage is worn out, then the arthritis or osteoarthritis occurs. When arthritis affects the thumb joint, the person experiences pain at the base of this finger whenever he/she tries to grip something. The arthritis of the thumb also causes rigidity and swelling of the finger as well.
  • The thumb may also be affected by an autoimmune disease that affects the joints, particularly the synovial membrane. This disease is called rheumatoid arthritis and it arises pain, swelling, and joint deformities.
  • Bursitis is a condition that is also responsible for the incidence of the thumb joint pain. Our bones are protected from the rubbing against each other by the tiny sacs that are filled with fluid and that can be found between the bones, and muscles and tendons around the bones. These sacs are called bursa and when they are inflamed, bursitis occurs.
  • The pain in the joint of the thumb may be also induced by tendonitis, which is the medical term for the inflamed tendon, which can be found along the thumb. When this tendon is inflamed and when the pain occurs at the base of this finger, the condition is termed as de Quervain's tenosynovitis.

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