Thumb

The opposable thumb was one of the most important developments in human evolution, and something you take for granted until something makes you very aware of it. I think I have arthritis of the joint that joins your thumb to your wrist on my right hand. I’ve had varying degrees of pain for the last couple of weeks, and when it is bad I struggle with the simplest of tasks, opening bottles, jars, doors etc. Today I even had trouble using my mouse.

I went to the doctor yesterday (GP) and he seemed to think it isn’t arthritis, but my internet self-diagnosis tells me otherwise. I have forms for both a blood test and an x-ray but didn’t find time to get them done today.

No exercise again today, so it’s going to be another very light week. My mojo is down and the weather isn’t exactly inviting is it.

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4 Responses to “Thumb”

  1. JH Says:

    No, it’s not inviting at all. It was so bad last night I actually went to the gym rather than running outside (never happens!).

    Sorry about the thumb problem. Does this mean you’ve slipped back a few millenia of evolution?

  2. offthelongrun Says:

    Like JH, I also went to the gym yesterday to run on a treadmill – that’s also rare for me. This weather is depressing, I don’t mind running in the rain, but it’s been constant these past few days.

    MM is only 8 weeks away -better get some k’s into those legs!

    I think even the neanderthal man had an opposable thumb so JH maybe right!

  3. canute1 Says:

    Andrew, As you probably know from your internet research, arthritis is inflammation of a joint or joints, and can arise from many different causes. The common symptoms are pain and limited range of movement. Sometimes movement produces a crunching sound. In some cases (especially in rheumatoid arthritis) the joint gets swollen, hot, and red. Because it is sometimes serious, it is sensible to consult a doctor, but I am inclined to think that if the doctor is not too concerned, that is probably a good sign.

    There are simple remedies that can be helpful. In my experience, for mild cases the most important therapy is keeping the joint mobile, while avoiding movement that produces a significant increase in pain. Anti-inflammatory medicines can be helpful, but I personally try keep my own intake of medication to a minimum.

    I have found that since recommencing running a few years ago I have had less knee pain that I had in my early fifties, so at least in my case, mobilization has proven effective most of the time.

    Arthritis at the base of the thumb can be surprisingly disabling. I had an episode that affected the base of my thumb about 24 years ago. The pain lasted 8 months. Operating the release trigger of a car handbrake was excruciating, and where possible I leaned across to use the opposite hand to release the brake – not a recommended procedure so I was really pleased that I was not dependent on driving to work. However the good news is that after 8 months the acute pain disappeared and has never returned. I still get a mild discomfort when I exert pressure with that thumb, but it causes no appreciable disability.

    So good luck, but if the symptoms persist, consult a doctor again.

    I feel sorry for you antipodeans, especially those of you who live in Melbourne. We are having a pretty good summer in Engalnd this year, but I exepct that the weather gods will punish us again fairly soon, and the boot will be back on the other foot.

  4. darnfitness Says:

    I’m a physical therapist, and I’m sorry but all I could think of when I read the “self-diagnosis” part was “OMG. He is one of THOSE patients…” Please tell me you didn’t had a bunch of internet articles printed and bring them to the doctors’ appointment….
    I hope your health returns! *and trust your doc*

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