The thumb has a special function during ball sports in controlling your movements, both when catching and throwing and shooting. (The thumb is used to secure the grip/catch the ball: “thumbs behind the ball!”). The position and structure of the thumb is special, in comparison with that of the other fingers. The thumb joint is located next to and opposite the other bones in the hand, and demonstrates exceptional mobility.

The thumb has two phalanges, while the other fingers have three, which due to shape of the hand are more closely linked together. The alignment of the metacarpal bone of the thumb is different from that of the other bones in the hand. Thanks to the location and special anatomy of the thumb, and in combination with the other fingers, the hand is able to perform the grip function. As a result of this special function and structure, the thumb runs a particular risk of injury specifically during ball sports and skiing.

An acute injury is generally caused as a result of a fall or a collision with another player or the ball. The injury is caused by the overstretching or the ‘bending backwards’ of the thumb.
You suffer pain and swelling and movement around the thumb joint is restricted. Moving the thumb is particularly painful. Bruising occurs and swelling of the thenar. In the event of a tear, the pain and swelling increase and there is more instability.

In the event of the full tearing off of the ligament, the perceived pain can be manageable, because there is no further tension on the damaged ligament. The range of movement of the thumb is considerably increased. The main symptoms are acute pain, swelling and reduced mobility the thumb. The pain is caused because tissue around the thumb has been damaged. Following the correct treatment, these problems generally disappear.

Wearing a Push Sports Thumb Brace can help to stabilise the thumb, offering the damaged tissue a chance to recover. The brace can also be worn outside sport, in the immediate aftermath of the injury.

An overuse injury is caused because the burden to which the thumb is exposed is greater than the level of load the thumb can cope with. Overuse injuries to the thumb occur if the anatomical restrictions inherent in the thumb joint are exceeded. As a result of the overburdening, tensing and/or stretching the affected muscle at the base of the thumb and at the start of the wrist can cause pain. An overuse injury around the thumb is often caused following high frequency repetition of the same movement. It is uncommon in sport that such repetition of often small movements leads to an overuse injury. A more common cause is the so-called ‘mouse arm’.

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