When the thumb gets swollen, pain is what follows. Most people prefer to ignore it believing it will fade away after some time. Failing to treat the problem results in pain and discomfort which of course will disrupt your daily activities.
There are several factors responsible for a swollen thumb. Though some of them will go away naturally, others will need some form of treatment. Before treating a swollen thumb, it is important to first understand the reason behind the swelling.
What Causes Swelling Of Thumb Joints?
There are a host of factors responsible for a swollen thumb. Below are some of them
- The major cause of swollen thumb is injury inflicted on the hands or wrists. This sort of injury can be caused when playing or working. A fractured thumb bone leads to swollen thumb. An X-Ray scan will be needed to spot out the fractured bone.
- Stress from excessive texting or playing of guitar can stress the thumb thereby causing it to get swollen. Pain and discomfort are what accompanies the swelling.
- When the thumbs joint gets infected with arthritis, what follows is a swollen joint. A swollen joint has limited movement. Arthritis doesn’t only affect the thumb; it also affects the fingers as well.
- Bursitis and thumb tendonitis is also responsible for pain and inflammation on the thumb. A thumb affected by tendonitis suffers persistent irritation due to the wriggling of the hand and wrist. In the case of bursitis, then thumb gets swollen when the bursa (the space separation the ligament and bone) gets inflamed.
- Swollen thumb is also caused by insect bites and stings. When the thumb gets bitten by an insect, burning, itching and swelling may occur. The irritation usually fades away on its own after a couple of hours.
- Swelling of the thumb can also be as a result of infection. A cut on the thumb exposes it to infection. Diabetes is also responsible for the inflammation of the thumb.
Treatment for swollen thumb
There are so many reasons why a thumb can get swollen. Before treatment commences, it is very important to first understand the cause of the inflammation. If the inflammation was caused by a fractured thumb, then immediate medical treatment should be sought. Treatment involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers which help assuage the pain. Treatment can also extend to the use of splint and bandage which helps limit the movement of the affected bone.
Antibiotics should be taken if the affected thumb has been secreting pus, as it helps minimize the pain and discomfort. Below are some of the treatment techniques used in managing a swollen thumb
- Cold pressing the affected spot on the thumb. To do this, place some ice cubes in a towel and then press hard on the thumb for about 10 to 15 minutes. This should be done at least two times a day.
- Hot water fomentation: Place the affected thumb in a bowl of warm water and then leave for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Give the affected thumb good rest by wearing splint. Also try taking a break when working to avoid your thumb from being strained.