Read below about pain in the thumb side of the forearm, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your pain in the thumb side of the forearm from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having pain in the thumb side of the forearm

Take a quiz

5 Potential Pain in the Thumb Side of the Forearm Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  1. 1.Thumb Arthritis

    Arthritis of the thumb is common with aging and occurs when cartilage wears away from the ends of bones that form the thumb joint. This can cause severe pain, swelling and decreased strength and range of motion, making it difficult to do simple tasks, such as turning doorknobs and opening jars.

    This condition is considered irreversible, but symptoms can be effectively managed with treatment

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    difficulty moving the thumb, thumb pain that affects sleep, thumb pain from overuse, pain in the thumb side of the hand, spontaneous thumb pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Chronic Nail Infection (Paronychia)

    Chronic Fingernail Infection (Paronychia) is caused by repeated damage to the cuticle (the thin layer of skin that covers the base of the nail). The cuticle protects the nail from infection, and when it's damaged again-and-again, it can predispose someone to infections of the nail (paronychia).

    Really depends on you - the more you are protecting your nails, the more likely you will heal

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous finger pain, fingernail pain, cuticle loss, fingernail swelling
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit

    Pain in the Thumb Side of the Forearm Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having pain in the thumb side of the forearm.

    Take a quiz
  3. 3.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway filled with ligament and bones at the base of your hand. It contains nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the nerve to be compressed. Symptoms usually start gradually, and as they worsen, grasping objects can become difficult.

    Recovery time varies depending on treatment.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, hand weakness, wrist pain, weakness in one hand, pain in both hands
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Ulnar Nerve Entrapment of Elbow

    Ulnar Nerve Entrapment of Elbow is the compression of the ulnar nerve, causing numbness and/or weakness in the hands.

    Mild symptoms resolve on their own, severe disease resolves with surgery

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    hand weakness, weakness in one hand, numbness in one hand, pain in one elbow, pain in one forearm
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Bruised Hand

    A bruise occurs when small blood vessels break and leak their contents into the soft tissue beneath the skin, which causes the purple color of the bruise.

    1-2 weeks

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    hand injury, hand pain from an injury, pain in one hand, swelling of one hand, palm bruise
    Symptoms that always occur with bruised hand:
    hand injury, hand pain from an injury
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain in the Thumb Side of the Forearm

  • Q.How would you explain your forearm pain?
  • Q.Have someone feel for your pulse (at the wrist) on the side of your body that hurts. Now, turn your head to that side. Does the pulse go away? (This is known as the Adson's test.)
  • Q.Turn your head toward the side of your body that is hurting. Lift your head up as someone else pushes down on your head. Does this cause greater pain in your upper body? (This is known as Spurling's test.)
  • Q.What is your body mass?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our pain in the thumb side of the forearm symptom checker to find out more.

Take a quiz

Pain in the Thumb Side of the Forearm Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pain in the thumb side of the forearm have also experienced:

    • 7% Thumb Pain
    • 6% Elbow Pain
    • 4% Swollen Forearm
  • People who have experienced pain in the thumb side of the forearm had symptoms persist for:

    • 29% Over a Month
    • 25% Less Than a Day
    • 25% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced pain in the thumb side of the forearm were most often matched with:

    • 42% Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having pain in the thumb side of the forearm

Take a quiz