Why does my thumb hurt when picking up my baby?

Why does my thumb hurt when picking up my baby?
Why does my thumb hurt when picking up my baby?

Why does my thumb hurt when picking up my baby is a common question we get from new mothers.

There are several potential reasons why your thumb might hurt when picking up your baby:

  1. Repetitive Strain:
    • Picking up and holding a baby can put repetitive strain on your thumb joint and surrounding muscles.
    • The repeated motion of lifting your baby can lead to discomfort or pain in your thumb over time.
  2. De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis:
    • This is a condition that affects the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist.
    • It can result from repetitive thumb movements, like lifting a baby, and cause pain and swelling in the thumb and wrist.
    • There is usually am imbalance of muscles and weakness in your grip causing this condition.
  3. Thumb Arthritis:
    • Arthritis in the thumb joint, known as basal joint arthritis or thumb carpometacarpal (CMC) joint arthritis, can cause pain when you grip or pinch.
    • Lifting your baby could exacerbate this pain.
  4. Overuse or Strain:
    • If you’ve been using your thumb excessively, whether from baby care tasks or other activities, it may lead to overuse or strain, resulting in pain.
  5. Injury:
    • If you’ve experienced a recent injury or trauma to your thumb, such as a sprain or strain, it can cause pain when you use it, including when picking up your baby.


If your thumb pain persists or worsens, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and guidance on treatment options.

They can help determine the underlying cause of your pain and recommend appropriate measures to address it.

Treatment options for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis:

Physical therapists play a crucial role in improving pain and functional loss from De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. A systematic approach of proper testing to determine impairments, then manual therapy and muscular re-training is usually necessary to get better.

At PhysioFit of NC, we have the expert team in musculoskeletal conditions to help you to the fullest.

We provide a comprehensive treatment approach through our Grip Strength Program.  This includes manual therapy and exercises to improve finger and hand mobility and wrist stability. The primary goal of treatment is to address the underlying muscular imbalance issues and strength deficits causing impaired grip.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today so we can help you!