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Learn about your severe thumb pain, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your severe thumb pain 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.

Severe Thumb Pain Checker

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Top 6 Severe Thumb Pain Causes

  1. 1.Normal Thumb Pain

    Thumb pain can be caused by a host of things, but is often idiopathic (without cause).

    Your thumb pain looks like it is variation of normal, which doesn't require any treatment, for now. You can take over the counter pain medication to relieve the pain. If anything changes, please check in again.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    thumb pain
    Symptoms that always occur with normal thumb pain:
    thumb pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

    De Quervain's tenosynovitis is a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. If you have de Quervain's tenosynovitis, you will feel pain upon turning your wrist, grasping anything, or making a fist.

    You should visit your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options. You can also reduce pain and swelling with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve).

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    hand numbness, hand weakness, thumb pain, weakness in one hand, numbness in one hand
    Symptoms that always occur with de quervain's tenosynovitis:
    thumb pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.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.

    You should visit your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options for managing symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    thumb pain from overuse, difficulty moving the thumb, pain in the thumb side of the hand, spontaneous thumb pain, thumb pain that affects sleep
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Severe Thumb Pain Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having severe thumb pain.

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  4. 4.Jammed Thumb

    Jammed thumbs are common in sports but may occur during daily activity.

    You should visit a physician or urgent care center in the next day. Generally, surgery is not required and splinting is sufficient.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    thumb pain from an injury, thumb injury, swollen thumb, finger bruise
    Symptoms that always occur with jammed thumb:
    thumb injury, thumb pain from an injury
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.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).

    You can treat this at home with a number of changes - 1) moisturizing with lotion, 2) protecting your hands from water by using light cotton gloves under heavier-duty vinyl gloves, 3) avoiding any nail polish/remover/hardener/conditioner, 4) using mild soaps to wash your hands and drying them completely and carefully, 5) using a topical steroid to promote healing

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous finger pain, fingernail pain, cuticle loss, fingernail swelling
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  6. 6.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.

    Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent permanent nerve damage. Your doctor will diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome with a physical exam and special nerve tests. Treatment includes resting your hand, splints, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines. If symptoms do not improve with these less invasive treatments, your physician may recommend surgery.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous shoulder pain, hand weakness, wrist pain, pain in one hand, weakness in one hand
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Severe Thumb Pain

  • Q.Is your thumb pain getting better or worse?
  • Q.How long has your thumb been hurting?
  • Q.Let's examine your thumb a bit. What makes your thumb hurt worse?
  • Q.Which of the following describes your physical fitness:

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our severe thumb pain symptom checker.

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Severe Thumb Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced severe thumb pain have also experienced:

    • 18% Swollen Thumb
    • 9% Warm Feeling
    • 9% Forearm Pain
  • People who have experienced severe thumb pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 30% Over a Month
    • 27% Less Than a Week
    • 18% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced severe thumb pain were most often matched with:

    • 50% Normal Thumb Pain
    • 31% De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
    • 18% Thumb Arthritis

Severe Thumb Pain Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having severe thumb pain.

Take a quiz