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A thumb brace worn on the left hand

Injuries Treatable With A Thumb Brace

If you have received medical advice to the effect that you should wear a thumb brace or support (or stabilizer), you may be wondering how it will help treat your injury.

A thumb brace (or stabilizer or support) is used to support the thumb in order to allow sprained thumb ligaments to heal. You will usually wear this device to treat a sprain that results after you have fallen onto an outstretched hand. The result of such a fall could be overstretched or torn thumb ligaments due to the thumb being forced backwards and away from the palm. This type of injury is also commonly referred to as gamekeeper’s thumb.

Another type of injury that you may treat using a thumb brace is de Quervain’s syndrome. This is characterized by inflammation of the two tendons that control thumb movements. As with sprained ligaments, wearing a thumb stabilizer allows the tendons to rest and heal naturally.

Thumb instability is another problem that you can treat with your thumb brace.

Having explained the injuries that you can treat with a thumb brace, we should also explained what the brace cannot do. It cannot help heal more serious injuries such as a thumb fracture. If you think that you may have fractured your thumb, please visit your doctor for an examination. This is a serious injury that should receive professional medical attention as soon as possible.

Other Things You Can You To Relieve Your Pain

Wearing a thumb brace helps to rest your thumb’s supporting ligaments and speed your path to recovery. However, it is just one of a number of things you should do to recover as quickly as possible.

Besides wearing a thumb brace, you can also help to relieve your thumb pain by taking the following steps:

  • Applying a cold pack to your thumb every few hours (for 20 to 30 minutes at a time);
  • Taking over the counter pain relief medication such as aspirin if the pain is severe;
  • Consider wearing an elastic bandage over your thumb to reduce any swelling you may have;
  • Try to keep your thumb elevated above heart level as much as possible.

Once your pain has started to recede, we would suggest consulting a physiotherapist for help in designing an exercise program to return your thumb to its original range of motion.

Advice

In closing, we will list a few commonly asked questions from those who are about to start wearing a thumb brace. We hope that our suggestions  will help you return to full health as quickly as possible.

How Much Should I Wear My Thumb Brace?

We would suggest following your physician’s advice on this question. However, our view is that you should try to wear your thumb brace as much as possible. The more time spent wearing it, the more rest you are giving to injured thumb ligaments or tendons and the quicker they are likely to heal.

For How Long Should I Wear The Thumb Brace?

Although you should again consult with your doctor, we would suggest wearing the brace at least until your pain has gone. You should expect to wear it for as long as 4 weeks. The key is to be patient and not remove it prematurely. If you do that, you risk aggravating thumb ligaments and tendons before they are fully healed, and your injury may then return.

Other Questions

Some of the other questions that you may have if you are contemplating wearing a thumb brace are:

  • Can I wear the thumb splint to bed? Our answer would be a yes, this would be optimal. Do consult with your doctor before making a final decision on this, however.
  • What is the best brace for trigger thumb? Our suggestion would be to look for a brace that is both lightweight and comfortable. You should feel comfortable wearing the stabilizer long after the trigger thumb symptoms have gone. Doing so will help to prevent recurrence of the condition.

If you have questions about the features of the thumb braces shown below, please ask and our customer service associates will be pleased to help.

However, if you need information about the nature of your injury, we would suggest consulting with your physician or other healthcare advisor.

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