Arthritis Community
3.04k Members
Avatar universal

Pain at base of thumbs

Back in July 2013,  I developed pain in both thumbs while playing my banjo. I had recently started new playing techniques on the banjo with both hands.   I am 48 years old.  I've been to a hand therapist and she believe it is some type of repetitive stress injury and since then I've only play a little and have used splints and exercises etc. I feel things have been getting better but slowly.  Recently,  I went to a sports medicine hand doctor and he had said I have osteoarthritis. I reviewed the radiologist notes on the xrays taken and he couldnt find an signs of arthritis.   I am concerned that the Dr.'s diagnosis is wrong given that pain started in both thumbs on exactly the same day.  Shouldn't the pain have started first in my dominant hand? How can a Dr. make a osteoarthritis diagnosis without evidence on xrays?
4 Responses
351246 tn?1379685732
I can understand your apprehensions. X-rays are unable to detect any early changes of osteoarthritis. The pain starts years before appreciable changes can be detected through X-rays. A repetitive tendon injury is a likely diagnosis. Also, it could be osteoarthritis since you have pain in both thumbs. Another possibility is rheumatoid arthritis. Both can cause symmetrical joint involvement.
The treatment is rest, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as Tylenol, Aleve or Mobic. Take care!

The medical advice given should not be considered a substitute for medical care provided by a doctor who can examine you. The advice may not be completely correct for you as the doctor cannot examine you and does not know your complete medical history. Hence this reply to your post should only be considered as a guiding line and you must consult your doctor at the earliest for your medical problem.
Avatar universal
Thank you!
Avatar universal
Hi. I am not a doctor but have disk degeneration in my neck and what can cause thumbs to lock, feel pin prick pain etc, is your c6 and c7 area in your neck causing you issues. With your head on that slight angle looking down, I would think it is more of a referred pain. If it was repetitive injury, then why didn't it take the other thumb long to play up. It's more likely disc inflammation in your neck at those levels because your head is now being held on both sides for long periods.
1193998 tn?1265121197
Hi there,

I have you been evaluated for carpal tunnel? My Mom had it and it was primarily her thumbs that were affected.
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
Could it be something you ate? Lack of sleep? Here are 11 migraine triggers to look out for.
Find out if PRP therapy right for you.
Tips for preventing one of the most common types of knee injury.
Here are 10 ways to stop headaches before they start.
Tips and moves to ease backaches