Causes of Swollen Thumb: Home Remedies, Treatment For Thumb Swelling

Having a swollen thumb will not only cause you discomfort, it also prohibits you from doing some of your regular daily activities. There could be several causes of swollen thumb. Some of these are brought by the following circumstances:

Swollen thumb does not only cause too much discomfort, but also prevents a person from his or her regular activities.

Thumb Swelling Causes

  • Prolonged playing of string instruments like guitar, violin, etc.
  • Conditions such as menopause among women
  • Trauma or minor injuries such as joint strain and sprain that could affect the thumb movement
  • Excessive use of thumb such text messaging
  • Medical conditions like diabetes
  • Arthritis or osteoarthritis.
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Bone fracture
  • Insect and animal bites

Natural Treatment for Swollen Thumb

  • Apply cold compress on thumb.
  • Press swollen thumb with ice cube or use ice pack to wrap the thumb.
  • Get and soak two towels. Soak one in cold water and wrap in swollen thumb for three minutes.
  • For a few minutes, soak another towel in hot water and wrap on swollen thumb for seven minutes.
  • Alternate heat and cold application everyday thrice a day for three to seven minutes to improve blood circulation.
  • Wearing a splint also allows the thumb to rest.
  • Avoid unnecessary movements and strenuous activities that can worsen the swelling.
  • Also, to steady the thumb, bandage may help in relieving discomforts of swelling.
  • If swelling or inflammation is intolerable, take a dose of analgesic to lessen the pain.
  • If the causes of swollen thumb are due to repetitive activities such as playing string instruments and text messaging, there is no need to apply serious treatment on your swollen thumb other than abstaining from such activities for a short while until the swelling abates. Other home remedies for swollen thumb include:
  • Application of cold compress on your thumb. You can do this by pressing your swollen thumb to an ice cube or by wrapping an ice pack to your thumb.
  • Alternate heat and cold pressure. To do this, get two towels, soak one of them in cold water and wrap it in your swollen thumb for 3 minutes. After three minutes, take the other towel and soak it in hot water then wrap your swollen thumb for 7 minutes. Do this alternate application of heat and cold for another three times at least twice a day. This alternate application will allow blood supply and better blood circulation.
  • Wear a splint to allow thumb to rest and avoid unnecessary movement that may aggravate the situation.
  • You can also apply bandage on your swelling thumb to help in steadying your thumb.


  1. KP said:

    My thumb is swollen since few days. The pain is severe and I cannot bear it. Is there any medicine to reduce swelling?

    July 27, 2014
    • PUP said:

      Before taking any medicine it is important to know the reason of swelling and pain. If it due to an infection you may need antibiotics. If the cause is due to high uric acid, anti inflammatory and medicines to reduce uric acid may be effective. Do blood test for uric acid and rheumatoid arthritis to exclude gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Apply cold fomentation for five minutes. It will help to relieve pain. Take turmeric powder with one teaspoon of honey. Turmeric powder is natural anti-inflammatory medicine which will help to reduce pain and swelling.

      July 28, 2014

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