• Blog >
  • How to Relieve Thumb Pain
RSS Feed

How to Relieve Thumb Pain

0494370001563464755.jpgThumb pain is a common condition that we often see and treat in our Santa Cruz Chiropractor office. If you are suffering from thumb pain, several easy stretches you can do at home may help – descriptions are below. If you try the exercises and they’re too painful to perform, even the first time, consider coming into to see us for an adjustment. Our approach using DNFT chiropractic can help decrease the inflammation AND align the bones so your thumb and the surrounding tissue functions at its best. If we find your pain needs attention beyond the capabilities of DNFT chiropractic, we’ll refer you to the appropriate care. You may also want to add natural anti-inflammatory supplements Wobenzyme, Zyflamend, and Celadrin to reduce the pain in a sustainable way.

Several conditions can cause thumb pain – the most common is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the wear and tear of a joint that involves the cartilage, joint lining, ligaments, and bone. This form of arthritis often affects middle-age to elderly people. Having osteoarthritis does not mean you are doomed to be in constant pain. The exercises in this article can help relieve thumb pain, increase range of motion, strengthen and help ease sore, swollen thumbs associated with thumb osteoarthritis.

Gentle Stretches to Relieve Thumb Pain:

Ease thumb pain with acupressure

If the base of your thumb really hurts, try acupressure as a simple home remedy. Using your non-painful hand, apply pressure to the web of your thumb for 30 seconds. This stimulates the acupressure point known for easing aches and pains.

Wrist stretch

These two exercises will help stretch your arm and wrist muscles.

Hold your arm out with your palm facing away from you, use your opposite hand to gently press your fingers back, toward you. Press until you feel light tension; hold for 30-seconds.

Then point your fingers toward you until you feel light tension; hold for 30-seconds.

Wrist extension and flexion

Use a sturdy table about waist height to do these two stretches.

Stand in front of the table with your feet shoulder width apart, place both your hands on the table palms down, lean forward on your hands until you feel a gentle stretch and hold it for 30 seconds.

Then place your hands on the table palms up and lean forward again until you feel a gentle stretch in your arms and hold for 30-seconds.

Pronation and supination

This can be done with or without a weight. If you use a weight that can be a hammer or a light free weight.

Hold the weight closer to make it easier or further from you to make it harder. Holding the weight turn your hand from palm up to palm down, twisting at the wrists, do 3 sets of 10.

Wrist extension and flexion

Use a weight or light household item such as a can.

Holding the weight with your palm facing down bend at the wrist to lift the can up toward you, then down toward the floor, do 3 sets to 10.

Grip strength

To help strengthen the muscles that help you pinch, grab, grasp or grip objects, hold a ball such as a racket ball or tennis ball. Squeeze the ball for 3-seconds and release doing 3 sets of 10 repetitions.


Those are my easy home stretches to do to help your thumb pain. Done consistently, and without excessive pain, you should see great improvement in your thumbs. Remember, if the exercises are too painful to perform then give us a call at (831) 217-3157. We’ll answer any questions you have and help you determine if you should come in for an analysis and adjustment—we can completely align your hand, wrist, and all that impacts your thumb. How will we go about helping you? Just read our page on what to expect at our Santa Cruz chiropractic office and you’ll get the idea. Take care…


Appointment Request

Fill out the fields below and one of our staff members will contact you as soon as possible.


Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Santa Cruz Office


8:00 am-6:00 pm


Los Gatos: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


9:00 am-5:30 pm


8:00 am-6:00 pm


Hours Vary