Thumb pain

Does anyone else suffer with pain at the base of the thumb? I have been getting this for the last few weeks, it's painful trying to grip anything with my left hand, as I am left-handed this is becoming a problem especially with washing up, (no dishwasher at the moment). I have tried Voltarol rub and paracetamol with not much relief. Think I will see the Dr soon to see what is going on.

11 Replies

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  • For me it is the never-fail sign of a flare. Every time! Most doctors will try to tell you it is "arthritis" - maybe, maybe not. Have you reduced the pred dose in the last several weeks?

    I know some people get relief from this sort of support:

    physioroom.com/catalog/Thum...

    and I used one in the early days of PMR, long before it was diagnosed and treated, when it was being assumed it was RSI and tendonitis.

  • Hi PMRpro,

    Thanks for your reply, I have reduced pred from 9.5 to 9 since Jan 1st, thought I did it slow enough. I was going to reduce again to 8.5 starting this week, but I think I will leave it a bit longer. I will try a thumb support and see if that helps.

  • However slowly you reduce NOTHING will get you past the end point: the lowest dose capable of managing the symptoms.

  • I get this from time to time and in my case it is arthritis. A few days with a thumb/wrist support usually settles it down.

  • I do...in fact, I have it right now. For a time, it came on quite frequently then not again for months. Right now, I am on Vicodin for another issue....related to my back. With the Pred and Vicodin, seems I would be feeling no pain. ;-) Never related mine to a Flare....although, I've had many. I'm also experiencing pain in my fingertips....have read that could be caused by PVD. Not sure if the two might be somehow related.

    Hope your pain lessens...CJ

  • I have had pain below my right thumb for months. I have not a clue what it is. It does seem to vary in pain though, sometimes it is better than other times.

  • Yes, my left thumb has been increasingly painful for 3 years & now down to 4.5 pred it does not mask the pain. It is becoming swollen & nobbly & is osteoarthritis, I do not think it's anything pmr related. Wear & tear. I am increasingly concerned as to how to cope with it & wear a thumb support whilst changing beds, gardening etc. It's a bummer! My physio suggests I wear the thumb support more & I think it's necessary for you to see one to ensure you get the right type. My first was in the NHS. Best wishes.

  • I don't have any sign that there is a problem, no swelling etc. It is just very painful. I had carpal tunnel in my left hand before I was diagnosed with PMR but it went away when I started the steroids.

  • Thanks to all for your replies re thumb pain. I am going to try a thumb support and see if I can get referred to a physio. Love to you all x

  • Before being finerly diagnosed with PMRyears ago I had carpal tunnel operations on both hands which stopped all pain and numbness that I had had for years ! They now say that carpal tunnel is part of PMR but the operations sorted it xx

  • Mari, I have experienced pain at the base of the thumb too, but only a few times. Also, wrist pain, but only about four times over the last three years.

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