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JoPeep

Thumb pain - help for hitchhiker's thumb (thumbs that bend backwards too much)

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Posted (edited)

I recently retired and have started to uae the craft of crochet that I made sure to learn from my grandmothers before they left this world.  About a month into crocheting I noticed my right thumb was so stiff and sore in the mornings, so I started watching my thumb when I crochet to see why this was happening.

It was my hitchhiker's thumb causing the problem. I learned that about 25 % of people have thumbs where the top joint bends backwards beyond the straight position.  Normally this isn't a problem unless you use your thumb repetitively applying pressure to something.   I was so sad that this might plague my crochet fun. What could be done to keep my thumb from bending back, yet still let it bend forward to grasp my hook and work? I even looked on line, and nothing would help for crochet except those hooks with the egg grip. I decided to wrap a bunch of blanket yarn around my hook to make my own comfy egg shaped grip. I used some tape to start the yarn on the hook so the ball didn't just spin. It worked somewhat but it didn't completely stop me from bending my thumb back. I will post a picture of that, but my big revelation came when I was fiddling with my key chain and I had my thumb through the key ring. Wow, I thought! If I could split this keyring open like a butterfly and then put my thumb through it with the  joined part of the butterfly on the inside of my thumb and the 2 Wings on the outside of my thumb (one wing just below the cuticle and one wing near the outer base of my thumb), I won't be able to bend my thumb backwards, AND I should still be able to bend it forward like normal!  I went straight to the junk drawer and starting digging through a pile of old keys looking for the perfect size key ring.(the kind you have to pry open to slide the keys around to get them on there).

I found a key ring that fit my thumb and was slightly loose. Then I pryed the ring open like I would to put a key on, but I used a pair of those pointy plyers to help me pry it open more until it was like a butterfly. Then I tried it on my thumb as I imagined earlier and it worked! I could no longer bend my thumb backwards but I could still bend it forward normally! I was really happy, but it wasn't very comfortable so I wrapped yarn around the cuticle wing and a little yarn on the other wing and a little on the joint of the butterfly. It was perfect... Except it was now a bit snug on my thumb.  I went back to the junk drawer and got a bigger ring, a much looser ring. I once again made a butterfly, Then I wrapped the whole thing with blanket yarn. It is perfect! And it will last forever! 

I am attaching several pictures here.

* my homemade egg grip

*my first butterfly brace (you can see the metal ring)

*my final butterfly brace ❤

I hope this helps someone. It makes crocheting such a joy now! My thumb never hurts anymore.

Joanna

 

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Edited by JoPeep
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