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

Thumb Weakness Checker

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Your Thumb Weakness May Also be Known as:
Weak thumb

Top 10 Thumb Weakness Causes

  1. 1.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
  2. 2.Inflammation of the Epiglottis

    Epiglottitis is inflammation of the epiglottis, tissue that covers the trachea (windpipe), which helps prevent coughing or choking after swallowing. It is usually caused by the bacteria H. Influenzae but can also be caused by other bacteria or viruses that cause upper respiratory infections.

    Call 911 immediately for an ambulance now! Epiglottis can be a life-threatening emergency. Though with proper treatment at a hospital, the outcome is usually good.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    being severely ill, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, pain with swallowing
    Symptoms that never occur with inflammation of the epiglottis:
    cough
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  3. 3.Hypothyroidism

    Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped organ inside the neck, no longer produces adequate levels of hormones. Thyroid hormones are essential for many bodily functions including breathing, heart rate, and metabolism.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Hypothyroidism is a complex condition that is usually treated with hormone replacement therapy.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.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
  5. 5.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.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Diagnosis is made by looking at your symptoms and confirmed with a test of the nerves. Treatment depends on severity. If no weakness, splinting and physical therapy. If weakness, surgery to decompress the nerve.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    hand weakness, pain in one hand, numbness in one hand, weakness in one hand, pain in one elbow
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  6. 6.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
  7. 7.Myocarditis

    The myocardium is the muscular tissue that makes up the walls of the heart, allowing it to contract and push blood throughout the body. Myocarditis is the condition when this muscular tissue becomes inflamed, often as a result of an infection, causing the heart to struggle to pump blood.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will confirm the diagnosis by examining your heart with a stethoscope and an ECG (electrocardiogram), and by performing a blood test to check for infection. Myocarditis is treated with pain relievers, anti-inflammatory medicines, as well as medication to treat the underlying infection.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, muscle aches, chest pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  8. 8.Nail Infection (Paronychia)

    Paronychia is an infection of the nail folds, typically caused by Staph. Aureus. Or a fungus.

    You should go see a retail or urgent care clinic in the next day or so. You can treat this with an antibiotic such as clindamycin or bactrim.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    spontaneous finger pain, fingernail pain, fingernail swelling
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  9. 9.Strep Throat Requiring Throat Swab

    Strep throat is a bacterial throat infection that can make the throat feel sore and scratchy. Only a small portion of sore throats are the result of strep throat. And, if you do not show enough signs of a true strep throat, testing may be needed before treatment is begun.

    You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours, where a diagnosis can be made via a "rapid antigen test" (it's a throat swab). Treatment with simple antibiotics would be given only if the test is positive. It is important to get treatment, however, because of the possibility of getting a disease called "rheumatic fever" after the strep throat infection.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, sore throat, fever, rash
    Symptoms that always occur with strep throat requiring throat swab:
    sore throat
    Symptoms that never occur with strep throat requiring throat swab:
    general weakness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Low Calcium Level

    Hypocalcemia is a condition where there is not enough calcium in the blood. Calcium is a mineral contained in the blood, which helps the heart and other muscles function properly, and is needed to maintain strong teeth and bones.

    You should seek advice and a blood test from your primary care physician. To treat hypocalcemia, take a calcium and vitamin D supplement daily, and increase consumption of dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. You should also avoid drinking too many soft drinks, which contain phosphates - a chemical that can interfere with the body's ability to absorb calcium. Avoiding salty foods is also helpful, as salt makes the body lose calcium.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, shortness of breath, irritability, general numbness, tingling foot
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Thumb Weakness

  • Q.About your [wrist], do you notice:
  • Q.The weakness affects:
  • Q.Is your wrist pain getting better or worse?
  • Q.How severe is your thumb pain?

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

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Thumb Weakness Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced thumb weakness have also experienced:

    • 20% Drooling
    • 20% Thumb Pain
    • 20% Fatigue
  • People who have experienced thumb weakness were most often matched with:

    • 20% Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • 20% Inflammation of the Epiglottis
    • 20% Hypothyroidism

Thumb Weakness Checker

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

Take a quiz