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If you have pain in your thumb, and it gets worse close to the tip, you might try massaging your thumb. You might even try massaging the pad of your thumb.
If none of those actions help, that means the cause of your pain is not there – it's somewhere else.
A "trigger point" is a hyper-irritable place in a muscle (or other soft tissue) which "triggers" or "fires" painful symptoms elsewhere. A symptom could feel like burning, aching, numbness or tingling. So trigger points cause pain away from themselves.
In the case of pain at the tip of your thumb, the trigger point that causes your pain is in your lower arm. The pain is called "referred" pain because it is referred to your thumb by a trigger point.
There are muscles that allow you to move your fingers and thumb. These muscles are NOT in your hand! The tendons (tough strong tissue at each end of your muscles) attach to bones. Your finger muscles all have a muscle "belly" in the middle and tendons at each end which attach the muscle to bones.
Finger and thumb tendons are very long. The bellies of the muscles that move your fingers are actually in your arm !
The muscle that causes pain in the tip of your thumb is deaf than (it is buried under) muscles that are close to the surface (where your skin is.)
What Should You Do?
Turn your hand so it is palm-side up. Warm the palm-side of your lower arm. You can do this with a hot pack or by massaging (rubbing.)
Massage lightly at first. As your soft tissues and muscles start to soften and relax, you can massage deeper and deeper. As you press more deeply, start seeking tender places in your lower arm.
The trigger point will feel tender when you find it. It will be approximately 4 to 6 fingers away from your hand and wrist. When you locate it and press on it, you may feel notified sensations in your thumb. That is how you will know you have found it!
Press into that tender area for 12 seconds, at a pressure of about 7 out of 10 (10 being the most intense discomfort.) Trigger points in muscles respond and relax Best with a pressure of about 7.
It will not be a tiny little dot. You may have to follow the tenderness and apply pressure in several spots. Take all the breaks you need. You can keep going back to tender areas and re-treating them. If you feel a little bruise-y afterward, that is just because your muscles were tight and they were not used to someone pressing on them.
It could take a day to notice the difference, but if you have less pain in the tip of your thumb, you have done it! You did your own therapeutic massage.
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