One common problem with the tendons surrounding the thumb is De Quervain's tendinitis, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. This tendinitis can create pain and swelling along the side of the thumb. De Quervain's tendinitis becomes extremely noticeable when you try to perform a gripping or grasping motion. Thumb tendinitis is frequently the result of repetitive use. Exercising the thumb can help promote blood flow and increase range of motion in the thumb joint. Always consult your doctor before beginning exercises for the tendons of your thumb.
Working on the gripping strength of your thumb can help relieve any pain felt in the tendons and restore range of motion. Locate a rubber ball or stress ball. Grip the ball as tight as possible in the palm of your hand, according to University Sports Medicine. Hold your grasp for a count of five seconds. Repeat one set of 20 repetitions of this exercise.
The tendons in your thumb are also connected to your wrist. Complete a wrist range of motion exercise by moving your wrist to the left, right and up and down, according to North DeKalb Orthopaedics. When you feel a stretch in your wrist, hold this position for a count of five. Repeat this exercise in each direction 10 times. Complete three sets of this exercise throughout the day.
Object Pick Up
Using your thumb, try to pick up small objects. According to North DeKalb Orthopaedics, small objects can include coins, pencils, buttons and paper clips. Pick the objects up using your thumb and only one other finger. To increase strength in your thumb, try to use each of your fingers throughout this exercise. Practice this exercise for five minutes.
Position your thumb so that the side with your little finger is resting on a table. Your thumb should be pointing up towards the ceiling, according to Boston Hand Surgical Associates. Slowly bend your thumb so that is crosses the palm of your hand. Try to reach your thumb as close to your little finger as possible. Hold this position for a few seconds. Bend both of the joints in your thumb as you complete this exercise. Return to the starting position and complete one set of 10 repetitions, three times per day.