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


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

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


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!" :)


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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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.
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.


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.


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! :)


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!

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