GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR RECOVERY
If you have sprained your thumb, it is important to know how to treat a sprained thumb. In this article we will go over the symptoms of a sprained thumb and different ways that you can treat your sprained thumb at home or by going to a doctor.
It's a pretty common injury, spraining your thumb. What does it mean to sprain your thumb? It means that you've torn or otherwise damaged the ligaments (the tough bands of fibrous tissue) that connect the bones within your thumb; usually this occurs when you catch yourself as you fall off balance. Your ligaments act like ropes that hold together the bones in your joints. They are like rubber bands - they help your joints stretch without breaking, and it is where much of your flexibility comes from. When these "ropes" tear or break, it causes pain, swelling, and bruising.
Symptoms of a sprained thumb:
Many people suffer from a sprained thumb each year, usually due to falling, getting it caught in something or tripping. However, many of the signs and symptoms of a sprained thumb can be reduced by wearing an appropriate brace for support while you recover.
- Pain that worsens with any movement of the affected area
- Severe pain when touching the affected area
- Swelling in the affected area
- Bruising in the affected area
- Inability to move the affected area without sharp pain
When you have sprained your thumb, it is important to know what symptoms occur with a sprained thumb and how to treat it at home or by going to a doctor. If you follow these steps, chances are that you will see a decrease in the pain and inflammation that you are experiencing. Within 2 or 3 days, you should be able to move your sprained thumb without much discomfort. However, if the pain does not subside after several days, it is recommended that you see a doctor because other problems may arise.
HOW TO TREAT YOUR SPRAINED THUMB
The basic treatment for it is RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. You should immediately apply ice to reduce inflammation and swelling. If you don't, your thumb will swell up and take much longer to heal. You should wrap an ice pack in a towel or cloth so that you aren't directly placing the pack on your skin.
- Rest the injured area as much as possible for a set amount of time (a doctor may tell you how long)
- Ice the sprained thumb periodically throughout the day to decrease swelling and pain
- Elevate the sprained thumb above your heart level whenever you are able to do so if there is a lot of swelling in your sprained thumb, but first, make sure that you wrap an elastic bandage around the affected area.
- Do not bend or straighten your sprained thumb because this will increase pain and swelling that's already occurring in the area. Only move your sprained thumb if it is absolutely necessary.
- Apply ice packs on top of an elastic bandage wrapped around the affected area (ice pack should be between ¼ and ½ inch thick)
- Take over the counter medications like ibuprofen to help with pain, inflammation, and fever
This makes it easier for less inflammation to occur. If there isn't a lot of swelling, then it is recommended that you don't elevate your sprained thumb because doing so can increase your chances of having blood clots form below the skin and at joint areas. You should continue to elevate your sprained thumb for the next 48 hours.
Generally, mild sprains heal within 2-3 weeks but more severe sprains may take longer (or require surgery ). So please take care of this injury right away; if left untreated it can get worse and may take more than 3 weeks to heal.
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