5 Ways to Reduce Mommy Thumb Pain
I'm using my left hand to type this. You all are probably like "Ok, and?" Well, first things first I am right handed. Secondly, my right wrist and thumb joint experience so much pain on a regular basis, I have now learned to function with my left hand. My right hand is engulfed in a black brace, the kind you see cashiers wear in the store, and I currently am a WAHM, no cash register full of money in sight ( I wish).
What's the culprit you ask? Mommy Thumb.
Mommy Thumb is a painful condition of the thumb and wrist. Many recent news reports have highlighted this problem, which often affects new mothers.
I had never heard of this "mommy thumb" phrase until another Mom on my Mommy friend app Peanut (kinda like Tinder for Mamas) had corrected me when I commented in a group post that I thought I had carpal tunnel. I had expressed that I had insane wrist pain, to the point of tears, and that my wrist could not handle day to day activities such as writing with a pen, picking up heavier toys, and hell planking was just plain out of the question ( I'm a fitness instructor, so yes planking is a daily activity for me). After hearing about Mommy Thumb, I needed to know more! I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory when he got his golden ticket and waived it in the air, only my wrist and thumb hurt too bad to waive any type of golden ticket.
Why was this happening to me?
Now, stay with me here. After I had my son, just as many other first time Mom's I carried him everywhere. I brushed off my parent's warnings that he would expect this golden treatment, and bombarded my self with Baby Center articles saying that I was a crap Mom for not picking up my baby right when he cries. So, I carried him all around our house, while eating dinner, doing laundry, and held him during naps. I also work a lot from my phone. By work I mean I answer a lot of clients inquiries, but when I'm not working I'm usually checking my Pinterest, laughing at celebrity clapbacks, or looking up another recipe that I have the best intentions of making but... Y'all know how that always works (mac and cheese again for dinner anyone?) So, with the amount of carrying my increasingly heavy son, and my time spent on my phone, I had worked my way into having the dreaded Mommy Thumb.
Now how can we fix it?
I wanted to write this for all of you Mamas out there just like me, who have this issue, didn't have a name for it, and now need some relief.
Check out my favorite 5 ways to relieve the pain caused by Mommy Thumb.
1. Put the phone down. Ugh, easier said than done but putting your phone down relieves stress on your thumb joint and can provide quick relief. If putting those phones down isn't an option, pick up a Pop Socket, it helps take the weight off of your thumb joint and spreads the weight across the hand.
2. Ice the base of your thumb joint regularly. This will help cool and numb the area around the base of your thumb. While you ice your thumb joint throw in some headphones instead of scrolling and enjoy some alone time.
3. Encourage your kiddo to independently play. Stack blocks on the floor, place a rattle with the baby when he/she sits in the high chair, keep them entertained! Do anything that does not involve lifting them. If they get fussy reassure them that you are nearby, and encourage them to keep playing. This tools is also a good way for kids to learn independence.
4. Do wrist exercises. My favorite wrist exercise is holding my hands out in front of me like I would push into a wall. Then I slowly rotate my wrists clockwise and then counter-clockwise. I would recommend doing 2 sets of 10 in both directions.
5. Embrace using your non-dominant hand. I mean we don't have two hands for nothing! You will be surprised how strong your other hand is, plus by doing this you can give the stressed out hand a rest.
My dearest hope is that no new Mom has to deal with this type of stress added on top of the stress of being a new Mom. Please make sure to adjust repetitive motion when pain occurs. Once the pain develops into tendinitis it is very painful.
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