Mommy Thumb: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, & More - Healthroid

Mommy Thumb: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, & More

Mayank Pandey
Written by Mayank Pandey on October 11, 2022

When you hear the term “mommy thumb” you might think it’s something only new mothers experience. However, this condition can affect any woman who has given birth, regardless of how many times she’s done it. So, what is mommy thumb?

Mommy thumb is a form of tendonitis that occurs in the thumb and wrist area. It is caused by the overuse of the muscles and tendons in this area, which are put under strain when carrying a baby or nursing. The condition is also referred to as de Quervain’s tenosynovitis or washerwoman’s sprain.

Symptoms of mommy thumb include pain and swelling in the thumb and wrist area, as well as weakness in the hand and a loss of dexterity.


One possible cause of mommy thumb is overuse of the thumb during pregnancy. This can happen when a pregnant woman constantly uses her thumb to do things like text messaging, opening doors, and carrying bags. The extra strain on the thumb can lead to inflammation and pain.

Another possible cause of mommy thumb is De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, which is an inflammation of the tendons around the thumb. This condition is more common in pregnant women, because of the changes in hormone levels that occur during pregnancy. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis can also be caused by repetitive motions of the thumb, such as texting or using a computer mouse.

Additionally, mommy thumb can be caused by holding a baby several times a day.

Finally, mommy thumb may also be caused by arthritis.


When mothers experience pain in their thumb, it is often referred to as “mommy thumb.” This is a type of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, which is an inflammation of the tendons and surrounding tissue in the thumb. The condition is often caused by repetitive motions, such as nursing or holding a baby.

Symptoms of mommy thumb include pain and tenderness in the thumb and wrist, swelling, and difficulty moving the thumb. The pain may worsen with activity or when gripping something. In some cases, the symptoms may radiate up the arm.


There are several ways to treat mommy’s thumb. The first is to rest the thumb and avoid using it as much as possible. This means no texting, writing, or other activities that require the use of the thumb. If the pain is severe, you may need to wear a splint or brace on your thumb to keep it from moving.

Ice can also help reduce swelling and pain. Wrap ice in a towel and apply it to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time. Do this several times a day for the first few days after injury.

If home treatment doesn’t seem to be helping, or if the pain is very severe, you may need to see a doctor or physical therapist. They can prescribe stronger pain medication and show you specific exercises and stretches to help treat mommy thumb.

In severe cases, a splint or corticosteroid injection may be necessary. Surgery is rarely needed.

Mommy Thumb


There are a few things that can be done in order to prevent mommy thumb. One is to maintain good posture when carrying anything heavy, such as a baby or a car seat. It’s also important to avoid placing too much weight on one side of the body when carrying objects. Instead, try to distribute the weight evenly.

Second, avoid overuse of your thumbs. If you find yourself constantly using your thumbs for activities such as texting, gaming, or other repetitive motions, take breaks often to rest them.

Third, use proper lifting techniques when picking up babies or other heavy objects. When lifting from a seated position, it’s important to keep the back straight and use the leg muscles to do the lifting. Bending over from a standing position can also lead to mommy thumb, so it’s best to avoid this if possible.

Additionally, strengthen the muscles around your thumb by doing exercises such as grasping a tennis ball or putty.

If you do start to experience pain in the thumb area, it’s important to rest it and ice it as soon as possible.

Exercises to relieve or prevent mommy thumb

Mommy thumb also called de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, is a condition that can cause pain in the thumb and wrist. There are several exercises that can help relieve or prevent mommy thumb.

One exercise is to place a rubber band around the thumb and index finger and then open and close the hand. This helps to stretch the tendons in the wrist and thumb.

Another exercise is to hold a tennis ball in the palm of the hand and squeeze it. This also helps to stretch the tendons in the wrist and thumb.

Finally, you can try doing some simple hand exercises such as making a fist, opening and closing the hand, or tracing letters in the air. These exercises help to keep the muscles and tendons in the hand strong and flexible.

When to see a doctor?

There are a few different times when you should see a doctor for mommy thumb. The first is if you are having trouble using the affected hand for everyday activities such as cooking or writing. Another time to see a doctor is if the pain gets worse with activity or the use of the hand. Finally, if you notice any numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected hand, you should also see a doctor.


While there is no definitive answer to the question of whether or not mommy thumb is a real condition, the general consensus seems to be that it is a relatively harmless condition that usually goes away on its own. However, if you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your thumb or wrist, it is always best to consult with a medical professional to rule out any other potential causes.

Published on October 11, 2022 and Last Updated on October 11, 2022 by: Mayank Pandey

Mayank Pandey
Written by Mayank Pandey on October 11, 2022

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