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Arthritis affects millions of people in the United States. For some individuals, arthritis pain can be severe and affect their ability to perform daily tasks. A thumb brace may help reduce pain resulting from arthritis and other conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
The American Society for Surgery of the Hand states that thumb arthritis is the second most frequently occurring form of arthritis in the hand.
This article discusses thumb braces and when to contact a doctor. It also answers some frequently asked questions.
- Best neoprene material: Bracoo Thumb Stabilizer
- Best medical grade Velcro strap: BraceAbility Thumb Splint
- Best soft-touch material: BraceUP Thumb Brace
- Best multipack option: Vive Gel Thumb Support
- Best aluminum core: FLA Orthopedics 3D Adjustable Thumb Brace
- Best copper-infused lining: Copper Compression Long Thumb Brace
- Best 1-year satisfaction guarantee: U.S. Solid Thumb Splint
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
Thumb braces can provide support to people who have pain in their thumbs. A thumb brace can help alleviate pain, increase stability, and take the stress off the joint.
People with arthritis may wear a thumb brace if this area of the hand has become affected.
Other conditions a person may wear a thumb brace for include:
- thumb sprain or fracture
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- gamekeeper’s thumb
- skier’s thumb
- de Quervain’s tenosynovitis
An individual may also need to wear a thumb brace following surgery.
Learn more about thumb arthritis here.
A person may wish to consider the following factors when looking for a thumb brace:
- Left or right hand: People should take into account which hand has become affected. Some thumb brace models are reversible, and a person can wear them on either hand.
- Pain location: Some products support just the thumb or different areas of the thumb. A person who may also need wrist support could consider a model with dual functionality.
- Level of support: Some people may benefit from light support, whereas others may need something firmer.
- Material: Individuals may find some materials more comfortable than others. A person could also consider purchasing a thumb brace that uses a durable and breathable material, especially if they need to wear the brace for long periods.
- Adjustability: Many thumb braces allow some adjustment so that a person can choose the right level of compression.
The products we outline in the next section are all readily available to purchase on Amazon.
How we choose products
Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:
- Price: Products are available for a range of budgets.
- Features: Products have a variety of features to suit individual needs.
- Suitability: Products come in a range of styles and use different materials.
Below, we list seven of the best thumb braces available on the market:
Best neoprene material
This breathable, moisture-wicking neoprene thumb brace can fit both the right and left hand. It also has an inner sleeve and an adjustable thumb strap to cater to all thumb sizes.
The concealed splint is discreet and keeps the lower thumb in place while retaining flexibility in the fingers. The company also claims this thumb brace has a universal fit.
The price is around $29.99 on Amazon.
Best medical grade Velcro strap
This splint provides firm support, as it is made from hard, perforated polyamide plastic. This plastic is latex-free.
The company claims the product is durable and waterproof and has a medical grade Velcro strap.
The splint is available in three sizes for either the right or left thumb. There is also a soft undersleeve to prevent the splint from rubbing against the skin.
The product costs around $34.99 on Amazon.
Best soft-touch material
This product uses soft-touch material that the company claims is breathable and releases heat and moisture.
The company also states that the brace has a universal fit and is suitable for both the left and right hand.
The brace itself is lightweight. Additionally, the manufacturer provides adjustable straps, so a person can tighten the brace to their desired support level.
The price is around $9.99 on Amazon.
Best multipack option
This product uses a flexible, latex-free gel that is also:
The manufacturer claims this thumb support provides a gentle compression while retaining flexibility.
The product is available in two colors, and a person receives a pack of two — one for each hand. The material is stretchy, so it will likely accommodate most hand and wrist sizes.
The product costs around $8.99 on Amazon.
Best aluminum core
This thumb brace is available in black or gray and comes in a variety of sizes. A person can also choose between the left and right hand.
The materials it uses are water- and dirt-repellent. There is also a soft and moldable aluminum core that adjusts to suit a person’s needs. Additionally, the brace has a smooth edge for comfort.
According to the manufacturer, this design was the recipient of the Red Dot Award in 2014.
The price is around $54.40 on Amazon.
Best copper-infused lining
This brand infuses copper into the lining of its products for optimum benefits and durability.
The manufacturer makes this product with flexible, moisture-wicking nylon fabric that protects against odor.
The company claims the brace has a universal fit and can accommodate both the right and left hand. The product also has adjustable Velcro straps.
According to the manufacturer, the product does not cause skin irritation, is comfortable and secure, and stays in place all day.
This long thumb brace costs around $20.95 on Amazon.
Best 1-year satisfaction guarantee
This product is available in two sizes, and a person can wear it on either the right or left hand.
The material this splint uses is a breathable neoprene, and the splint has Velcro straps for easy adjustment. The internal splint is made of metal.
The company claims that the product has certification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Additionally, this thumb splint comes with a 1-year satisfaction guarantee.
The price is around $12.99 on Amazon.
The Arthritis Foundation suggests that a person should consult a doctor if they have:
- concerns about joint pain
- had arthritis symptoms that last for at least 3 days
- experienced joint pain a few times over the course of a month
Arthritis symptoms may include:
- joint pain, swelling, tenderness, or stiffness
- inflamed joints that are warm to touch
- difficulty moving joints
Below, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about thumb braces for arthritis:
Does thumb arthritis go away?
Thumb arthritis does not go away, but symptoms may come and go. Also, a person can manage their symptoms using thumb braces and other methods.
How long do you need to wear a thumb brace?
Generally, a person can wear a thumb brace any time between a few days and a few weeks.
Can I sleep in my thumb brace?
Yes, a person can wear a thumb brace during sleep if this feels comfortable.
Thumb braces can help support the thumb and prevent it from moving too much. This support can be beneficial for people with thumb arthritis or another condition affecting the thumb.
In addition to a universal fit, many thumb braces have adjustable straps to tighten the brace so that it can provide the desired amount of compression.
A person should seek guidance from a doctor if they think they may have arthritis symptoms.