If you type at an average 40 words a minute, that’s 12,000 key presses an hour or 96,000 keys per 8-hour day with each key press using approximately 8 ounces of force. That’s almost 16 tons of force exercised by your fingers and thumbs a day, no wonder they sometimes need a little extra support.
Think about this for a moment.
Osteoarthritis of the thumb is the most common form of arthritis that affects the hand which millions of people live with daily and carpal tunnel syndrome surgery is one of the most common operations performed. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found carpal tunnel surgery is second only to back surgery with over 230,000 procedures performed annually.
With today’s lifestyles putting evermore stress on the thumbs, through typing, texting, gaming and even modern dating (swipe left, anybody?), our thumbs need help. The best thumb stabilizer, also commonly known as a thumb brace, aims to relieve pain by reducing movement of the thumb or offering extra support and compression. Whether it’s simply a night of pain-free sleep you’re after, or a record-breaking Call of Duty session, the best thumb stabilizer will help make your dream a reality.
How a Thumb Stabilizer Works
Thumb braces, or stabilizers, aim to secure the lower part of the hand known as the thumb saddle, the carpometacarpal joint in addition to the metacarpophalangeal joint which are often the cause of injury and therefore pain. Stabilizers tend to restrict the movement at the bottom of the thumb, some even totally immobilizing the thumb, and offer compression with varying degrees of mobility for the rest of the hand.
Here’s the good news.
Research has shown consistent evidence that splints (as found in thumb braces) can help reduce hand pain with a combination of splints and daily exercises helping to reduce pain and stiffness while also improving function. The following Youtube video demonstrates some thumb exercises you can perform to further help relieve the pain of arthritis and conditions like trigger thumb:
Best Thumb Stabilizer
Choosing the best thumb stabilizer can be a daunting decision. We’ve looked at many of the top selling thumb stabilizers on the market, trying to select various different styles to help you choose the best product that’s right for you and your poorly thumb.
A well-fitting thumb brace is vital for healing and pain relief so try to choose one which offers the best fit. Some may be unusable for larger thumbs with tightness causing further problems. Be sure to follow a product’s sizing chart or check the maximum dimensions of one-size-fits-all thumb braces.
More rigid braces will offer more support but can make performing everyday tasks or sports much more challenging. Less rigid braces are better for performing daily duties and are normally made from a softer, breathable material which many users find more comfortable. Some will feature adjustable straps that enable you to alter the compression based on your activities and may even have removable splints to increase or decrease flexibility and support when needed.
While you won’t go wrong with any of the products we have looked at, you should consider what exactly you want from the brace/stabilizer and how much you want to spend. If you need something extremely rigid and money is no object (often the case with excruciating pain) then the Push Metagrip Thumb Brace is the way to go. An excellent product, but the main reason it was bumped off top spot is the prohibitively expensive cost (it can only be worn on the hand you purchase it for) and the lack of support to the upper thumb.
Let’s wrap things up. (Excuse the pun)!
Although there are many similar looking products the price, durability and customer ratings make the Mueller Sports Medicine Reversible Thumb Stabilizer, in our opinion, the best thumb stabilizer in 2022. From well known sports medicine manufacturer Mueller Sports, with over 50 years of experience, this brace offers firm support to the thumb while allowing freedom of movement for your hand in an easy to use wrap around style.