How do Massage Therapists avoid thumb injuries?

Jun 12, 2014

As a result of last months article on avoiding wrist injuries, we have received a number of massage therapists asking about thumbs, which is a common problem for massage therapists, but one I believe can be avoided with correct massage training.

Most are caused by therapists trying to massage deeply or in a specific spot by applying deep thumb pressure.

First and most importantly you must spend the time warming the area where deeper work is needed, too many massage therapists try going too deep too soon, resulting in undue pressure on the joints of the thumb, as well as discomfort for the client.

The area must be thoroughly loosened, then and only then can you begin to apply more pressure with your thumb, take your time, and try not force the issue.

There are also different types of thumbs, some long and skinny, others short and thick like mine, with many shapes and sizes in between, you must adapt according to your thumb shape to avoid inflammation.

Also make sure not to fully extend your thumb, as often just by closing your thumb a little, the discomfort goes away, others may need to support their thumb with their other hand to get the required pressure, or if it is an ongoing problem ease back and instead of trying to release the problem in one go, bring the person back for another massage therapy treatment.

You can also begin the day by massaging the joints of your thumbs with heat rub, then at the end of the day with arnica to help ease any inflammation.

Remember! If you are injured you cannot help anyone, so please do take care.

Cameron Aubrey

Cameron Aubrey has over 20 years experience in the massage industry, and leads the team as Course Director at Discover Massage Australia. Cameron holds a Diploma in Remedial Massage, and his expertise runs across a large range of massage techniques, particularly sports, Swedish and whole body massage.