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
 
Last edited:

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.
 
Last edited:

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
 

Attachments

  • 1611616286349.png
    1611616286349.png
    232.4 KB · Views: 5
Last edited:

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.
 

chenarl

New Member
You should be very careful when practicing any kind of sports because they may affect your body. For example, I used to go to various Polo competitions, and I had a terrible accident, after which I had to follow a long-term rehab course. I had neuropathy, and if you don't know, one of the most common cancers that cause neuropathy is colorectal cancer. Fortunately, there is hope for neuropathy relief if you have been diagnosed with this condition. I followed this one https://rocketmannaturals.com/pages/painful-neuropathy and put myself together.
 
Last edited:

laurawd

Cathlete
I am following this thread with interest. I've been to 3 orthopedic doctors for thumb joint arthritis. I have lost about 1/2 the cartilage in the joint. The pain can be very severe, and it seems to be intensifying. Last month, I had a steroid shot and that has alleviated a lot of the pain. I might have surgery if it continues to worsen. I think recovery from surgery is the hardest part, but the surgery itself is pretty straightforward and largely successful from what I understand (and have read on Pub Med).
 
Last edited:

cocob1

Cathlete
Just checking in.
I've gone as far as PT can go with my thumb joint arthritis. PT recommended surgery if I want to continue with my workouts the way I want to do them. Not the way Insurance thinks someone my age needs to use my hands. If I can "dress myself and do daily self care - that's all it will pay for".
I'm managing as well as I can with modifications and bracing the joint. I love using KT Sport Tape for daily use and then I use the Push Brace for dumb bells etc.
No weighted pushups and no yoga. Even Cathe's Perfect Flow has some weighted hand positions. It's hard!
I don't know when I'll do surgery yet.
It was giving me trouble off and on for a few years but nothing major. I didn't realize that I was continuing to damage the joint. When I'd ask the Dr about out it back in 2017 - 2018 - I was just told it was osteoarthritis. No xray or anything. I wasn't warned that I should have taken care of my joint until too late!
I did the most damage to the joint March, April & May of last year doing XTrain. Lots of up and down using hand for mountain climbers etc. I was ok until all of a sudden I was in severe pain and due to the Pandemic Shutdown couldn't see a Dr. until late June. Dismissed as "just arthritis and told to wear the Mueller Thumb Brace ( Mueller Thumb Brace was useless for me - didn't give the CMC joint enough support). No use of my hand for 3 months. I stopped all exercises due to the pain until the pain was too much. Got a steroid shot and an xray late August of 2020 and a prescription for PT. Xray showed level 3 damage. PT helped breakup alot of the scar tissue and the exercises built up the atrophied muscles in the web space between the thumb and the pointer finger. I found the Push Brace on my own and my PT loved it! I could wash dishes etc and I stopped using my Mueller Thumb Brace.
I'm soon to be 68 and I found most Doctors don't think people my age exercise much - let alone know about Cathe's workouts and that even with modifications are pretty rigiouous and balanced. I'm told to "just walk or go to a pool" or do Silver Sneakers. Drives me nuts! Love my Cathe Gang for support and information when I need good advice.
Colleen aka/Cocob1
 

Debinmi

Cathlete
Colleen, thanks for the update... I've also been following this thread with interest as I developed hand/grip issues last fall. Per this thread I started wearing a brace at night and I use wrist wraps during weight training workouts, which have helped me feel more confident in my grip, but hasn't resolved the issue, so I'm glad to read of other's situations. Thanks again.
 

melagras

Cathlete
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.
I own the Beachbody power stands (the ones that Tony autographed). The grips are padded. They are awesome and worth the price.

 

cocob1

Cathlete
Thanks for sharing about the Beach Body PowerStands. I'll look into them. I'm doing a slow STS rotation and don't do the gazillion push ups! :). I've gone as far as PT will take me. I've bought extra large padded gloves and sometimes I use the Push Brace and sometimes I just double wrap my CMC Joint with KT Sport Tape. I'm just not ready to take the time off for surgery right now. I'm looking forward to Cathe's next series with the bands after I finish STS and see how my life is going to schedule a surgery and then the long journey of rehab.
 

Our Newsletter

Get awesome content delivered straight to your inbox.

Top