A Sprained Thumb is the most common hand injury in skiers. During falls, the Ulnar Collateral Ligament at the base of the thumb damages, often caused by the ski pole. However, a Sprained Thumb is not exclusive to skiers and can occur to anyone where there is sufficient force applied to the thumb in a direction away from the hand.
In severe Sprained Thumb injuries, there is often immediate swelling and pain with bruising developing in a few days. If a Sprained Thumb is not diagnosed early there may be chronic swelling as well as thickening of the thumb joint.
Ice Packs and compression are the best treatments immediately following injury. Thumb Sprains tend to resolve in around four to six weeks and can be aided by physiotherapy or Myotherapy treatment. With an occurrence of sprained thumb, there are many things you can do to aid the injury. First consult a sports physician to learn the severity of the injury. Use ice and anti inflammatory gel to reduce inflammation and pain relief. Because of the lack of ligament support through the injured joint, a wrist brace maybe required.
After a couple of weeks of resting and icing the injured thumb consult a Myotherapist for soft tissue massage and mobility work through the injured area. Exercises using Hand Therapy Balls and Therapeutic Putty can be very helpful to regain mobility. Grip and thumb strengthening devices can also be useful to restore normal hand and thumb strength.