A thumb brace will help to limit excessive movements of the thumb and promote healing of sprained ligaments or other soft tissue injuries. This device is also sometimes referred to as a thumb support or a thumb stabilizer.
Probably the most common injury treated by a thumb brace is a thumb sprain. This type of injury is frequently the result of falling onto an outstretched hand. When this happens, the thumb may be forced to bear most of your body weight and be stretched backwards, away from your palm. The supporting ligaments are then stretched beyond their normal limits. A thumb stabilizer can be used to help support the thumb in place of the damaged ligaments, giving those ligaments an opportunity to heal.
Your doctor may advise you to wear your thumb brace for anywhere between a few days and several weeks. The period will normally vary with the location and severity of your injury.
A frequent question from patients who have just started wearing a thumb support is whether they can wear it to bed. Although you should follow your doctor’s advice on this question, the normal recommendation would be to wear it as much as possible. The more time you spend wearing the stabilizer, the greater the opportunity your thumb has to heal and the better the treatment outcome.
Another question sometimes asked by individuals who are about to start wearing a thumb brace is whether it will help with arthritis. We would advise that it will not provide a cure to the underlying problem. However, it can help reduce the pain of arthritis and can also slow the rate of progression of the disease.