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  • If you’re experiencing pain and soreness on the thumb side of your wrist, it may be attributable to de Quervain’s tenosynovitis – a condition caused by repetitive gripping and bending of the wrist
  • It might also be a fracture or arthritis- perhaps golfer’s thumb
  • Rest the area, ice it, and take anti-inflammatory medicine to help ease the pain
  • If conservative treatments don’t work, consider cortisone injections or surgery
  • However, you may just need to take a break from playing golf

My friend Arnold was like a gazelle on the golf course. He could effortlessly glide from one end to the other, hitting ball after ball with his patented “thumbs up” gesture. But all that golfing came at a price–thumb pain.

At first, Arnold just chalked it up to old age. He figured that as he got closer to his golden years, his body would start to slow down and he’d have to adjust to some new aches and pains. But the thumb pain only got worse as time went on.

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Finally, after months of struggling with the discomfort, Arnold went to see a doctor. The diagnosis? De Quervain’s Tendonitis, a condition caused by inflammation of the tendons that attach the thumb muscles to the wrist. Ouch!

Fortunately, there are plenty of treatments for De Quervain’s Tendonitis. Arnold started out by icing his thumb everyday, then gradually worked up to using a splint and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories.

After a few weeks of this treatment plan, his thumb was feeling much better and he was able to get back out on the golf course! Thanks, thumbs up!

So, why does your thumb hurt from playing golf?

Why does my thumb hurt from golf? ( De Quervain’s Tendonitis) It’s a common question that many people have. The answer is not so simple. Many factors can contribute to this pain, and it may take some time to determine the root cause.

This article will explore the possible causes of thumb pain when playing golf and some available treatment options.

De Quervain’s Tendonitis is one of the most common causes of thumb pain when playing golf. This condition is caused by the inflammation of the tendons that attach the thumb to the hand.

This can result from overuse, repetitive motion, or direct trauma to the area. De Quervain’s Tendonitis treatment typically includes rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication.

In some cases, a splint or brace may be necessary to immobilize the thumb and allow the inflammation to subside. Read more here to learn about De Quervain’s Tendonitis and its treatment.

Reasons why your thumb might hurt from golfing

golfer playing golf at golf course

1. De Quervain’s Tendonitis

This condition results from the overuse of the tendons in your thumb. The symptoms include pain and swelling in the thumb and wrist. The treatment involves resting the thumb, icing it, and taking anti-inflammatory medication.

Tendonitis can be prevented by using proper form when playing golf and by stretching the muscles and tendons in the thumb and wrist before and after playing.

Doctors believe that de Quervain’s tendonitis is caused by the overuse of the tendons in your thumb. The condition is seen more often in women than men and usually affects people between the ages of 40 and 60.

The symptoms of de Quervain’s tendonitis include pain and swelling in the thumb and wrist. The pain is usually worse when you move your thumb or wrist and may be accompanied by a clicking sound.

2. Arthritis

Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints. It can affect any joint in the body, including the thumb joint. Arthritis of the thumb joint is a common cause of thumb pain.

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis affecting the thumb joint. Another type of arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, can develop after an injury to the thumb joint.

The hands are constantly gripping and twisting the golf club when playing golf. This can put a lot of stress on the thumb joint and aggravate arthritis. Arthritis can also cause the ligaments and tendons around the thumb joint to inflame. This inflammation can lead to pain and stiffness in the thumb.

There are several treatment options for arthritis of the thumb joint. These include medication, splinting, and surgery. Medication can be used to reduce pain and inflammation. Splinting can help to immobilize the thumb joint and protect it from further damage. Surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the damaged joint.

Some people think that golfing might even be good for arthritis

3. Trauma

A fall or direct blow to the thumb can cause trauma to the joint and surrounding tissues. This can lead to inflammation and pain, which can be aggravated by golfing. Golfing puts repetitive stress on the thumb and can aggravate existing pain. That is why it is important to see a doctor if you have any pain in your thumb after a fall or injury.

Doctors can diagnose de Quervain’s tendonitis with a physical examination and imaging tests. Treatment typically involves resting the thumb, icing it, and taking anti-inflammatory medication. In some cases, a splint or surgery may be necessary.

4. Fracture

A thumb fracture can occur as a result of trauma to the area. The symptoms include pain, swelling, and bruising. A thumb fracture will require medical attention and may require a splint or cast.

Fractures can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication, ice, and rest. When playing golf, it is important to be aware of thumb injuries’ risks and take precautions to prevent them.


It could be de Quervain’s tendonitis if you’re experiencing pain in your thumb that gets worse when you grip something or move your wrist. This condition is treated by resting the thumb, icing it, and taking anti-inflammatory medication.

You can also prevent tendonitis by using proper form when playing golf and by stretching the muscles and tendons in your thumb and wrist before and after playing.

If you’re experiencing golf knee pain– check out our article for some solutions.

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