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Thumb Sprain
Hand Physiotherapy

Thumb sprains are also known as a "skier's thumb", as this condition is common in people who ski. It is also a common cause of thumb pain.

Skier's thumb is damage to the ulnar collateral ligament at the base of the thumb, and though the name of the diagnosis is called skier's thumb, but it's not only skiers get this injury.

Almost anyone can get it as it happens due to the thumb being pushed as far away as possible from the hand, so you can see this in people who are goalkeepers, people who play basketball, or even everyday accidents and injuries.

Hand physioTherapy for Thumb Sprain

For a very badly sprained thumb injury, the patient will notice that there will be swelling and bruising in the base of the thumb. It usually gets worse over the course of the next few days (and especially as adrenaline wears off if one gets a thumb sprain during sports).

If patients had already had a thumb sprain for a couple of weeks or months (or if it's been recurrent or chronic) and if it has not been diagnosed or treated accurately, what may happen is that:

  • development of joint thickness
  • development of chronic swelling
  • development of chronic thumb joint laxity and instability

This leads to in

  • pain, weakness and difficulty using the thumb
  • difficulty with activities involving buttoning, writing, typing, zipping, anything that involves the thumb, generally

For some mild cases, the thumb ulnar collateral ligament may be just 5-10% torn, for severe cases can be 50-100% torn (if it's 100% torn, that's considered a full rupture). Regardless, your thumb will benefit from being assessed and treated by our senior hand therapist to determine the full extent of your thumb sprain, injury and any instability.

Thumb Sprain Hand physioTherapy Treatments

Our senior hand therapist will do an indepth assessment to understand and uncover your thumb sprain diagnosis, followed by creating a customized thumb sprain hand therapy program for you.

During the early stage of injury, our senior hand therapist will focus on:

Once your injury is no longer acute (usually when swelling starts to diminish), then we will start to work on

  • improving your thumb joint active and passive range of motion
  • improving thumb, hand and wrist strength

Patients can expect 95-100% recovery within 6-12 weeks (6-12 thumb and hand therapy sessions) for most cases. In cases where there is 50-100% rupture of the thumb ulnar collateral ligaments, if you hadn't seen a specialist hand surgeon, we will refer you to one.

If you have already, you may consider an invasive surgical repair of the moderate-to-full tear of the ligament, followed by a 8 - 16 weeks thumb and hand therapy recovery program.

Our senior hand therapists are experienced and will be able to help you safely start gentle and safe active and passive mobilizations, and work quickly on improving your thumb

  • joints
  • ligaments
  • tendons
  • muscles
  • stamina
  • function

for full 100% recovery and use as per normal.

Thumb Sprain Hand Therapy - Our Expertise

Our senior hand therapist are therapists that are clinically dedicated to assessing and treating hand, wrist and finger injuries, and includes thumb sprains and skiers thumbs. They will perform indepth assessments to determine the severity and grade of your sprain, and thereafter, create a customized thumb therapy program for you before advising and deciding which course of therapyis the best one that takes your thumb to 100% as safe and quick as clinically possible.