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Thread: Ever Use a Thumb Protector?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    153

    Default Ever Use a Thumb Protector?

    Over-zealous practicing and playing with a little arthritis, have caused me some serious left thumb pain. Since I refuse to stop, I'm looking for something to use that will let me continue with less pain while playing.

    I sometimes wrap it with a stick-to-itself bandage that adds some cushioning, but am looking for something that would be easier to use and might work better. I see Amazon sells an "EvoShield MLB Catcher's Thumb Guard" which might work. Has anyone ever tried something like this?
    Last edited by Ed1; 04-01-2020 at 06:26 AM. Reason: added "left" for which thumb

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Default

    Which thumb are we talking about? Without knowing any of the variables involved in your situation, my uninformed opinion would be to stop doing what's hurting you. If we're talking about the thumb of the strumming hand, I'd suggest using other more ergonomic fingers to pluck and strum. If we're talking about the fretting thumb, could you use a strap to simplify the role of the thumb. Or what about neck shapes? My ukulele has a somewhat flat back of the neck which makes the thumb's resting place more level and I think it makes the neck less thick as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Aurora, IL US
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    Default

    Once, in college, my protector broke. I ended up with two little fingers.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Ed1 -- I just checked out that catcher's thumb guard you mentioned. It seems like that is probably designed to cushion the impact of a hard baseball hitting your thumb area at 80 to 100 mph. I'm not sure that would help with arthritis, like you mentioned in your left thumb. But if it's inexpensive, maybe give it a try. I also have recurring pain (somewhere between an ache and a pain) in my left thumb, and I haven't yet found anything that helps, other than not playing. Since not playing is not an option, I'm just living with it so far. I'll look forward to hearing from others who may respond with solutions.
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned F-Bb-D-G w/Worth Browns)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned D-G-B-E w/Martin 22 Baritone strings)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (tuned A-D-F#-B w/Savarez classical guitar strings)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  5. #5
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    Kerrville, TX - Heart of the Fabulous Texas Hill Country
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    Default

    I too have the arthritis problem in my thumbs. I tolerate the right thumb pain just fine. But the left thumb can be a killer, especially when playing barre chords. I recently drove through California, and picked up some Sagely Naturals CBD Cream. When I know I'm going to be playing, or when it starts hurting too bad, I rub some of the CBD into the base of the thumb. That, together with three Advil gel caps, really calms it down nicely. You can check it out at sagelynaturals.com.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
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    Default

    Are we talking about thumb base arthritis? I'm "lucky" to have this in both hands, though it is much worse in my right (which is odd considering that I am left handed). Anyway, I have found thumb braces to be quite a help.


    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
    Blackbird Farallon Ekoa Tenor
    Beltona Songster Resonator Tenor
    Klos Carbon Fiber Tenor
    Magic Fluke Tenor Firefly Banjolele

  7. #7
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    Feb 2019
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    San Francisco Bay Area
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    Besley, I take it that thumb brace in the picture doesn't get in the way when you're playing?
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned F-Bb-D-G w/Worth Browns)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned D-G-B-E w/Martin 22 Baritone strings)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (tuned A-D-F#-B w/Savarez classical guitar strings)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John boy View Post
    Besley, I take it that thumb brace in the picture doesn't get in the way when you're playing?
    It doesn't get in the way, but it (like your skin) does come in contact with the neck or top/strings. I've been using a right hand one when strumming, and I've covered the hard plastic parts with moleskin to protect the uke's finish.
    Blackbird Farallon Ekoa Tenor
    Beltona Songster Resonator Tenor
    Klos Carbon Fiber Tenor
    Magic Fluke Tenor Firefly Banjolele

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    Use a pick. Get several picks, felt, rubber, thin plastic and use them all. Each will deliver a different sound. Also keep using your thumb, just not all the time, give it a rest by using a pick. Its not rocket science, there is no law that says you are forced to use your thumb all the time.

    Sure it will take some getting used to, the sooner you start, the sooner you will start to care for your thumb.
    Well yes.....but if his arthritis is like mine it hurts just as much to hold a pick. The next step would be a thumb pick so you don't have to grip it. Haven't tried that yet, but I have one on hand to experiment with.
    Blackbird Farallon Ekoa Tenor
    Beltona Songster Resonator Tenor
    Klos Carbon Fiber Tenor
    Magic Fluke Tenor Firefly Banjolele

  10. #10
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    May 2013
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    Be very careful about taking Advil (ibuprofens) during this pandemic. It may weaken your immune system and compromise your ability to fight the an infection. Best to talk to your doctor before taking this medication. Full disclosure: I am NOT a doctor or a medical professional, simply aware that ibuprofen has a particular risk in the current pandemic.

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