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Could You Be At Risk Of ‘Mummy’s Thumb’?

More and more mums are complaining of suffering from a ligament hand condition known as ‘mummy’s thumb’ – which can arise from repeatedly lifting a baby

Medical experts have revealed that a growing number of mums are suffering from the condition de Quervain's tenosynovitis, dubbed ‘mummy’s thumb.’ It occurs from repeatedly picking up a baby, which as all parents know is a virtually unavoidable action.


The condition is painful and affects the tendons in the thumb. You’ll notice it when you stretch your thumb and grasp objects – like when you pick up your baby.  ‘When you have a baby the ligaments in the body relax, and then all of a sudden, with weaker ligaments and floppy tendons you have to effectively weight lift all day,’ chartered physiotherapist Sammy Margo told MailOnline.

Sammy thinks that the condition, which more commonly affects women aged between 30-50, is more apparent now as women are ‘generally weaker than they used to be’, because we no do rigorous hand activities such as kneading bread and washing by hand.’

‘We are seeing more cases of "mummy's thumb" because historically women used to be stronger and so more prepared for the task of lifting a heavy baby all day,’ says Sammy. She adds that on average, a new mum lifts her baby up to 30 times a day – and that’s not including how often we all strain our thumbs texting.


While the condition will ease off for some mums, Sammy says that it’s ‘particularly prevalent when mothers are breastfeeding.’

‘When you breast feed the body releases a hormone called relaxin, which causes the collagen in the body to become more soft, leaving the joints more lax,’ says Sammy. ‘When mothers stop breastfeeding, generally the condition will ease off in three to four months.’


‘In more severe cases the condition needs hands-on manual therapy and in some cases hand splints.' At home, you could try squeezing a stress or tennis ball or grip strengtheners to exercise your thumbs.

Do you think you could be suffering from this condition? Let us know in the comments box below.

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