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What is Mommy’s Thumb?


Mommy’s thumb is a condition caused by repetitive movements that cause inflammation to the tendons in the wrist and thumb. Mommy’s thumb is scientifically known as De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis and is common in mothers of babies and infants.

The repetitive motion of lifting babies in and out of car seats, strollers, or cribs is known to cause mommy’s thumb. It is also caused by lifting and carrying toddlers, along with any other repeated movement.

Mommy’s thumb or De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a painful condition that is best treated early on. The situation worsens as the repetitive motion continues, and can lead to long term damage.

The most common treatment is an anti-inflammatory pain killer and rest, allowing the tendons the chance to self-heal. A brace or splint is recommended to help stop any movement of the wrist and thumb. However, in cases that have become extreme surgery followed by physiotherapy is often needed.

Recovery from De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis can take up to twelve weeks; the recovery from an operation is known to last several months. After having surgery to repair the tendon damage caused by Mommy’s thumb, physiotherapy is often required throughout the recovery.

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is quite common, especially in people aged between 30 and 50. More common in women, for the reasons discussed above, with more than double the cases found in men.

There are many names for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis because of the causes of the condition, and these names include texting thumb, washerwoman’s wrist, and gamer’s wrist. It is also common in people who play racket sports or golf, as both of these sports require repetitive motions of the wrists.

If you are looking to avoid mommy’s thumb, make sure to have hubby help out with the children whenever possible to give your thumb a break.

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