Opponens Pollicis Muscle: Thumb Pad, Thumb, Wrist Pain

What pain and symptoms are associated with the Opponens Pollicis muscle?

Pain pattern of the opponens pollicis muscle

The opponens pollicis muscle contributes to pain in the thumb and inside of the wrist.

 

  • Pain is felt on the inside of the thumb
  • Pain is felt in the wrist just below the thumb
  • Pinching using the thumb and fingers is painful
  • Difficulty holding objects between the thumb and fingers such as pens, pencils, needles for hand sewing or knitting
  • Wrist pain is often considered to be a sprain or strain of the wrist

Where is the Opponens Pollicis muscle located?

The opponens pollicis muscle connects to the bottom bone of the thumb to a bone in the wrist.

What movements do the Opponens Pollicis control?

  • Moves the thumb up and in toward the fingers
  • Helps bend the thumb

Activities that cause opponens pollicis muscle pain and symptoms:

  • Activities that require constant use of the thumb in a pincher motion
  • Activities that require constant downward pressure using the thumb ie massage therapist
  • Extended periods of knitting, crocheting, or hand sewing
  • Playing musical instruments such as the violin, cello, and guitar
  • Pulling weeds

 





Interesting facts about the opponens pollicis muscles:

  • Is one of three muscles of the thenar eminence. The thenar eminence is found on the palm of the hand just below the thumb (thumb pad).

Clinical diagnoses to which the opponens pollicis muscle symptoms may contribute:

Opponens Pollicis Muscle

You use the opponens pollicis muscle when you bend your thumb and move it in toward the palm of the hand.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • C6 or C7 radiculopathy
  • Ganglion cyst
  • Dupuytren’s contracture

Other muscles that should be considered and examined in conjunction with the opponens pollicis muscle:

Satellite Trigger Points: Flexor Pollicis Brevis, Abductor Pollicis Brevis, Dorsal Interosseus

For detailed anatomy information see: Opponens Pollicis Anatomy


Help with Opponens Pollicis Muscle Thumb, Hand and Wrist Pain

Cold Therapy Treatment For Pain In The Thumb and Wrist

Biofreeze is recommended for recent muscle injury Biofreeze Pain Relieving Gel is a cold therapy gel that provides pain relieve for new injuries and is great as a maintenance treatment for over use injuries.  Cold therapy should be used on new and recent injuries instead of heat as it cools the area much like ice and does not promote swelling. A recent study showed that Biofreeze decreased pain 2 times more than ice and the pain relief lasts 9 – 10 times longer. If you have recently injured the opponens pollicis muscle or have unexplained pain that has started in the thumb and inside of the wrist, use Biofreeze. Rub the gel into the wrist, the thumb pad and thumb for pain relief.

Ice wrap for wrist injury and pain.

 Wrist Ice Wrap For Cold Treatment and Compression

The Pro Ice Wrist Wrap is a good choice for opponens pollicis pain and injury. I like this wrap because it not only provides cold therapy but also adjustable compression which helps relieve pain and swelling. For additional pain relief rub the area with BioFreeze five minutes before applying the wrap for extended treatment and pain relief.

Warm Therapy for Post Injury and Chronic Wrist / Thumb Pain

Sombra Warm Therapy Gel provides pain relief. Sombra Warm Therapy Pain Relieving Gel is a pain relieving gel that I use both personally and professionally in my massage therapy practice. It provides warmth without burning heat like other over the counter heating creams and gels.  It works well for post injury pain and stiffness. It is great for chronic arthritis pain as it can be applied several times a day. Apply Sombra to the inside of the wrist, pad of the thumb and thumb to ease the pain. NOTE: Do not use Sombra Warming Gel when using ice packs or heat packs as there is a risk of blistering the skin. For the most effective treatment, apply 5 to 10 minutes before putting on a brace or sleeve.

 

Wrist and Thumb Support For Pain Relief

If the pain in the thumb, especially around the thumb joints is  unrelenting and you need relieve, I recommend that you try the Mueller Thumb Stabilizer.

wrist-thumb-braceThis brace not only provides support to the wrist, but also keeps the thumb stable.  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 fingers in a pinching type motion regularly. Keep it on hand (pun intended) for those times when you need support and pain relief.

Self Treatment Help For Opponens Pollicis Muscle Pain

The Trigger Point Workbook can help you resolve muscle pain throughout your body. Do you know that trigger points or other dysfunction in the opponens pollicis muscle can cause sharp pain in the thumb and wrist?  Dysfunction in this muscle can make holding objects between the thumb and fingers very painful.

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief can help you treat this wrist and thumb pain by teaching you the techniques to find and eliminate trigger points. Author Clair 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 are suffering from sharp pain in the wrist and thumb  treating the trigger points in the opponens pollicis muscle of the hand can help reduce or eliminate you pain.  This book is a must-have for anyone interested in finding the cause and treating muscle pain.