Basal Thumb joint pain(CMC Joint) advice for gloves & modifications for push ups/down dog, etc.

cocob1

Cathlete
Anyone else dealing with this issue?

Started very slowly with Cathe's Cross Train/Low Impact 90 day rotation last March after a long layoff due to illness.

Cardio, strength and flexibility coming back but by May the CMC pain is increasing.
Stopped mt. climbers, etc. did push ups on knees instead of building up strength on toes, used Fit Tower for push up modifications. Getting worse. Even holding bands in Travel Band workout hurt.

Bought Waggs Gloves. No thumb support and hurt webbing between fingers. Bought New Grips Gloves. Work great but bad for Cathe's quick change weight and hand positions in the rotation.

Saw Dr early June. Told to wear a thumb brace. $40 and wore religiously. Did nothing for the CMC pain. Stopped all lifting and push ups, down dog, etc. end of July.

Saw Dr. again mid August. X-ray, steroid shot for 24 hr pain. Nothing broken or fractured,mild osteo on X-ray but no joint degeneration. No issues with range of motion or flexibility of left hand and fingers. No wrist pain.

Waited 6 weeks for OT/PT appointment but my appt for last week was canceled because the PT got Covid-19! I pray she'll be ok but now my appt is pushed out at least another month.

I've been KT taping my CMC joint to keep it stable using U tube videos (Dr. Google) for ideas on how to support the CMC joint because the original thumb brace did nothing for that joint and I don't know what other type of brace to buy.

Started with STS rotation again yesterday with only 3,5 & 8# and didn't do any of the millions of push ups in STS week 1, day 1!

I've had Spondyloarthritis for over 25 years and I've always had to watch impact and repetitive use of my joints. The variety of a rotation is the best and Cathe has been tops until this CMC joint issue.

Sorry for long post but I've learned so much from Cathe and from other Catheletes. I don't post much anymore but I check in when I can. Soooo looking forward to my Perfect 30 workouts but I hope I can use them with this thumb issue!!!

Cocob1/aka Colleen in Minnesota
 
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Lady Vol Fan

Cathlete
I just wanted to say how sorry I am :(..it sounds so painful.
Sending you healing vibes and hoping someone chimes in with experience.
 

cocob1

Cathlete
Thanks Lady Vol Fan. I just reviewed my post and I had to edit out some grammar mistakes :) I hope to get some advice soon. Low Impact cardio today. "No hands!" :)
 

Traildoggie

Cathlete
I have severe degeneratve arthritis in wrists and hands. xrays make it look worse than it feels. its usually not painful, but if something hurts, I don't do it. it's hard for me to put my hands flat down. I do toe push ups holding small coated dumbbell in each hand on a matt, or holding the feet of a weight bench. You do not want something rolling sideways halfway thru a push up. A dumbbell is better more stable base than a fist. 5 or 8 lbs work best for me. My weight bench has 3 inch high feet, the perfect distance apart so push ups work there too. I do more knee push ups because the angle is better. I do tricep push ups holding the edges of a step.
Planks aren't as difficult for some reason, but I will move to dumbbells when I need to. my left hand is worse than right although I'm right handed. I wear a left wrist splint at night. I like Mueller brand thru amazon. (I'll stick in a link later). they aren't expensive.
I use this one. mainly for carpal tunnel without the thumb wrap. there are a million choices, but if it gets too big and cumbersome I will have issues wearing it at night.
Mueller brand uses softer material and easier to wear than what the local store has. I don't find any difference one way or the other immobilizing the thumb even though the thumb joint is my worst spot. I wear the carpal tunnel brace every night without fail. when we sleep, wrists get bent/contorted, and the splint keeps wrist straight. this helps my thumb.

I have been told ( orthopedic doc) there is a surgical fix but I am nowhere near that. I am probably way older than you so I encourage you to keep looking for work-arounds that are Ok for you. the splint did not do magic overnight, but consistent wear over time helps.
 
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cocob1

Cathlete
Hi Traildoggie,
Thank you for your response to my plea for help with my need for alternative push up suggestions and brace support.
I'm now 67. My inflammatory arthritis hit me over night when I was 39. I had a great Rheumatologist for many years but lost him in 2014 to a medical early retirement.
It was my new Rheumatologists who kept shrugging off my intermittent thumb problems since 2017 and finally when the pain became chronic suggested this splint which I've worn almost day and night since last June.
ttps://www.amazon.com/Comfort-Cool-Restriction-Splint-Size/dp/B00G7HCKWG/ref=sr_1_9?dchild=1&keywords=north+coast+thumb+brace+left&qid=1600280543&sr=8-9
I even went to the Medical Supply place in the clinic to get measured rather than guess my size. "She said I had a "long thumb"!? No wonder most women's weight lifting gloves never fit me well. M too tight and larges too loose.
Thanks for sharing the alternative push up hand support you use. I'll continue to investigate ways to make push ups/planks/down dogs, etc work.
Colleen
 

Traildoggie

Cathlete
I'm a little older..72. my hands look like rhematoid arthritis hands. I test totally negative for autoimmune disease. knuckles big, some ulnar drift. and of course the bad thumbs plus some dupuytren's contractures. no one said getting old would be fun.
someone talked to me briefly about a surgical joint replacement but not likely to pursue that.

what I find is that what works for one person may well not work for the next. I have problems riding my road bike due to the bent wrist position, so I am limited to 25 to 30 miles. after that hands get too uncomfortable. I tried padded gloves, padded handle bars, but what works the best is gloves with the least amount of padding... so go figure. exactly the opposite.
yoga gloves... form fitting, with little tacky dots, help grip weights with less strength. I dont usually use them but have them from a class I used to go to.
 

VM2020

New Member
I, too, have arthritis in my left thumb joint and right wrist. I consistently use the Mueller thumb and wrist stabilizer gloves on both hands noted above while doing dumbbells, and also for sleeping with (I don't wear them at any other times -- yet). I also have the 'tennis racket' wrap tape that I put around my dumbells so they have good & wide grips so I don't have to squeeze them as tightly.

The gloves do get in the way of 'traditional' push-up hand positions, so I don't do traditional push-ups anymore, but planks work just fine with the Mueller gloves as does standing core work with weights.

I stay away from resistance bands, I find they put too much stress on my joints without enough resistance on the actual muscles. I get a better workout with dumbbells. Remember, you don't have to lift heavy! Just lift regularly, and within your own body's limits. Try those Mueller gloves, they will improve your workouts and your sleep quality! :)
 

cocob1

Cathlete
Thanks VM2020. I was surprised that holding resistance bands instead of dumb bells as suggested on various Arthritis web sites actually hurt worse at that particular spot. Now I know I'm not alone.
I will look into the Mueller gloves as well. I see my beloved PT this coming Tuesday!
 

cocob1

Cathlete
I know I haven't checked in for awhile but I thought I'd share my CMC joint journey. I've been doing PT for my Thumb CMC joint since late September. The brace I found that works best for me is called a Push MetaGrip CMC Brace. I can wash dishes, do chores etc. because I can get it wet. If I'm lucky and diligent I'll avoid surgery. I've rebuilt the muscle in the web part between my thumb and forefinger but still can't do any exercises that put weight on my left hand. Hope you are all doing well. Coco
ps added in "if" I'm lucky and diligent!
I just purchased a Gray Cook band with padded grips for some of my band work and I'm going to try out a pair of Fat Grips to put on my dumbbells. If I like them I'll get more. I could have purchased some wrap tape or cut down some tubing and may still do so in the future. Still can't do dog, mountain climbers or anything putting weight on my left CMC or I pay for it! Thanks for being here.
Colleen/aka Cocob1
 

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Lady Vol Fan

Cathlete
Colleen it sounds like you are having some improvement so that's good!
I hope your diligence pays off and you avoid surgery!
 

Lady Vol Fan

Cathlete
Colleen when you're able I don't think I'd try straight away with normal mountain climbers, down dogs etc. I think I'd probably start off having my hands elevated on a chair or high counter to reduce the percentage of weight bearing. (Or whatever progression your health care provider recommends.)
 

Traildoggie

Cathlete
thanks for posting the pic about the waterproof brace. so far my Mueller one at night is enough but its good to see other ideas out there if needed.
tricep pushups have been hard. the flat hand position is not workable. in Stacked Upper body workout ( Ice or LITE) cathe grips the corners of a step to do triceps pushups. hands are not down flat. it's easy to adjust height by adding /removing risers. the position works really well for me, I wish Id known this years ago. for the first time I can keep elbows close.
my wrist/hand joints look like hell but still work with dumbbells and bands just fine. knee push ups a re OK with flat hand, but toe push ups I do on a step. I can bend my hand around the corner edge. whatever works..... soldier on!
 

1nortell

Cathlete
thanks for posting the pic about the waterproof brace. so far my Mueller one at night is enough but its good to see other ideas out there if needed.
tricep pushups have been hard. the flat hand position is not workable. in Stacked Upper body workout ( Ice or LITE) cathe grips the corners of a step to do triceps pushups. hands are not down flat. it's easy to adjust height by adding /removing risers. the position works really well for me, I wish Id known this years ago. for the first time I can keep elbows close.
my wrist/hand joints look like hell but still work with dumbbells and bands just fine. knee push ups a re OK with flat hand, but toe push ups I do on a step. I can bend my hand around the corner edge. whatever works..... soldier on!
I hope your pain has lessened. I use push up stands for different exercises when it hurts with a flat hand. I bought ones Beachbody sold years ago because they slope. Just my two cents.
 

Traildoggie

Cathlete
I don't want more 'stuff" in my workout room so try to use what's there. the feet of a weight bench are about 2-3 inches high, the right distance apart for push ups. the edges of a step work great for tricep push ups. knee push ups are easier than toe push ups but I pain in my right shoulder when I do toe ones, so I do knees but more of them. important thing is to keep doing something, even if its not 'perfection". If I don't abuse my privileges, I don't have discomfort. I wear that Mueller brace every night preventively. I want to be doing things when I'm 80 which is not that far away anymore.
 

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