- Pain in the joint of the thumb
- Pain in the tip of the thumb
- Weakness in your grip
- Popping or locking of the thumbs' middle joint
- Difficulty holding a pen, pencil, or silverware
- Difficulty buttoning clothes
- Difficulty tying shoelaces
Where is the flexor pollicis longus muscle?
The flexor pollicis longus covers over half the radius, the forearm bone located on the thumb side of your forearm and extends to the tip of the thumb.
What Movements Does the Extensor Digitorum Control?
- Bends the thumb toward your palm
Activities that cause flexor pollicis longus pain and symptoms:
- Activities that require constant gripping of tools
- Activities that require a pinching motion between thumb and forefinger
- Writing for long periods of time
- Artists who paint
- Counting large sums of money ie. bank tellers and cashiers
- Pulling small weeds that you grip between your thumb and fingers to remove
Interesting facts about the flexor pollicis longus muscle:
- Pain is known as weeder's thumb because it is often seen in gardeners and horticulturists
- Massage therapist, physical therapist and doctors often have problems with this muscle because of the pincer compression that is used for treatment and diagnoses
Clinical diagnoses to which the flexor pollicis longus muscle symptoms may contribute:
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- C8 or T1 Radiculopathy
Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the flexor pollicis longus muscle:
Affected Organ System: Respiratory and Cardiovascular Systems
Satellite Trigger Points: Flexor carpi radialis, Palmaris longus, Flexor carpi ulnaris
For detailed anatomy see: Flexor Pollicis Longus Anatomy Study
Help with Flexor Pollicis Longus Muscle Pain
Pain caused by the extensor digitorum can be felt from the elbow, down the forearm to the wrist and fingers. It is important to treat the entire muscle for pain relief. The DonJoy DuraKold Wrist and Elbow Ice Wrap is a good choice for this pain. I like this wrap because it can be used for the elbow and forearm then repositioned for the wrist and hand. The wrap retains the cold for well over an hour, however, the recommended cold therapy treatment time is 20 - 30 minutes per session. Longer treatment time could result in tissue damage.
Thumb Support For Pain ReliefIf the pain in the thumb, especially around the thumb joint, is so unrelenting that you just need some relieve, I recommend that you try the Mueller Thumb Stabilizer.
If your thumb pain is caused by the flexor pollicis longus muscle, bracing the thumb is not a cure, you must treat and support the muscle to eliminate the pain. However, there are times when the pain is unrelenting and bending the thumb is so painful you need help not only with the pain but also keeping the thumb stable. If that is the case this thumb brace will help. I like this particular brace because it provides support at the base of the thumb, and the joint in the thumb. The brace is lightweight, breathable, fully adjustable for compression and can be used for either hand. Highly recommended for those who use the thumb and first finger in a pinching type motion regularly. Keep it on hand (pun intended) for those times when you need support and pain relief.
The CompressionZ Compression Arm Sleeves are for those who want or need more support for muscle injury, muscle recovery or lymphedema. The sleeves work well for those who have chronic elbow, forearm and wrist pain due to repetitive motions that can irritate the extensor muscles in the arm. The sleeves work well for athletes as well as people whose jobs require repetitive twisting motions of the wrist. The sleeves are available in 3 sizes and a variety of colors. Be sure to read the size chart and follow the instructions to ensure proper fit. Two sleeves per package
Self Treatment For Flexor Pollicis Longus Thumb Pain
Do you know that small "knots" or other dysfunction in the flexor pollicis longus muscle can contribute to pain in the tip of the thumb that goes down into the joint? It can also make it difficult and painful to grasp an object or pinch with your forefinger and thumb.
If this pain pattern sounds familiar I recommend that you purchase Claire Davies The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. Mr. Davies explains the trigger point phenomenon and muscle pain in everyday language. But what makes this book worth its weight in gold are the individual muscle trigger point treatments that Davies has compiled. His diagrams and step by step instructions help you locate which muscles are contributing to your pain, how to find the trigger point and treat it. It takes time and practice to master finding trigger points, but once you learn you have a tool and method to help relieve muscle pain throughout the body. If you have unresolved pain in the thumb, it may be trigger points in the flexor pollicis longus muscles. Deactivating trigger points can reduce or eliminate this pain. This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.