Apparently I've sprained a muscle in my right-hand thumb. If you look at this image, I believe it's the one in blue. Stolen from http://www.eatonhand.com , sorry! This was in October/November, and I kept using it not realizing it was so badly injured. Then I cashiered for about a month (Dec.), and totally made it worse. Saw a doctor, she didn't do crap, quit my job and saw sudden improvement, went to another doctor a couple of weeks ago who FINALLY told me what was wrong, and what to do. I started taking some Aleve (anti-inflammatory) and it worked WONDERS, but my mom says it's bad to keep taking it over an extended time period.
Also, in the week or more between when I quit my job and when I saw the new doctor, I COMPLETELY stopped using my hand and saw great improvement. The Aleve was perfect timing, because then I could start using it normally again, but it still feels a bit too sore sometimes. Q:Is this the injury hurting, or could it be the muscle/joints getting sore simply because I haven't used them normally in so long? (I've been typing entirely left-handed all the while. Computer-use makes it the WORST.)
Q:Is there anything I can do, aside from applying heat, to help the healing process move along smoothly? Not necessarily make it quicker (although that would be smashing), but also some activities I should NOT do with it? Maybe some warm-up motions to strengthen the muscle and make it less likely to pull/sprain again?
The WONDERFUL thing about this is: I'm an artist. I was in the middle of a very important project when this happened. Q:Do you suppose if I work in very short spurts every day or so, it would be ok, or could I cause permanent damage? Won't it atrophy/heal too stiff if I don't use it a little?
Of course I'm also going to consult my doctor on that last one. Her attitude so far is "no big deal," which I'm hoping is a good sign since she semms to know exactly what she's talking about....