So, our girl (of twins) really needed to be picked up to be soothed. Both me and mom have tendonitis in our left hands. Specifically I was diagnosed with de Quervain's, though mom technically hasn't been diagnosed yet.

I assume others here have had this issue as well (mom's mom had it, from carrying mom's sis when she came out of a second hospital run). What did you do to get better? Any exercises, or are the cortisone shots coming fast in our near future?

  • Interesting! I have tendinitis (lateral epicondylitis) in my right arm (and I'm right-handed) from computer use. It's quite painful, especially combined with my other issues. But, I've never had an issue of it being bothered by carrying my boys (although my back/neck issues have sometimes prevented it). However, mine affects my extensor muscles and pinky-side (not the thumb side).
    – user11394
    May 22, 2015 at 4:03
  • @CreationEdge One nickname for de Quervain's is "mommy's thumb". In this case both mommy and daddy got it. May 22, 2015 at 13:31
  • Can you please clarify - is the problem the act of picking up, or the act of carrying once picked up? The answer may differ based on that.
    – user3143
    May 23, 2015 at 19:28
  • 1
    Also, what are the twins' ages? There's a big physical difference in terms of picking up and holding a baby who can't support head yet, vs older baby, vs. a toddler who can hold on themselves pretty well.
    – user3143
    May 23, 2015 at 19:30

2 Answers 2


Put the weight on the heel of your hand and higher.

I actually learned this from a personal trainer. He had me doing dumbbell curls and when the weight got higher, my wrists hurt all the time. So he asked me to instead of grabbing the weight, 'balance' it on the heel of my hand and hold it there with my fingertips (applies to hand facing up). It took a while to get used to, and the pain went away slowly, but this worked.

Fast forward to carrying kids all the time. While it really helps to be able to carry them longer if I've been keeping up my weight routines (whoever says bicep work is vanity was never a parent), and the same holds true.

Obviously you would never 'balance' your child on your palm. But when picking my children up, I have to 'choke up' towards the thumb, have my hands/forearms more perpendicular than parallel to the ground, and supinate my hands a bit to try to present the heel of the hand (and palm) to the child's armpits instead of the crevase of the thumb/forefinger. This requires bending down with my knees (OK now you have to keep your squat regimen up at the gym too) and getting closer to the child, all to relieve my wrists (when they are flaring up).

Then when carrying the child, by default (if it's a toddler - assuming that as a baby would be less likely to stress your wrist), you want to have the 'far bun' of the child in the palm of your hand. Instead of doing that, put the hell of your hand just past the far bun, with both buns resting on your forearm. (feel like we're working at a hamburger joint here, huh?)

Then let your hand extend past the child, almost limp, holding it up next to the child's body so you don't catch it on things as you walk around, and hurt it - I've done that.

Basically, the child is just sitting higher up on your arm (and maybe wrist) and less on your hand. I've noticed that none of my kids like this as much. Of course they don't like being practically dropped when pain randomly shoots through my wrist, either.

  • 1
    Welcome to Parenting.SE! This is a great Answer although I did remove the bit where you started soapboxing a little :) Prevention is a lot easier than treatment, and will also help alleviate the OP's pain while he recovers.
    – Acire
    May 24, 2015 at 11:57

I had mommy thumb too and ended up going to an orthopedist for help. Here's what he told me, which worked almost immediately...

  • When picking up your child, don't hook your hands under the arms. Instead, grasp his/her torso and squeeze in. This transfers the strain from your thumb (where the tendon is strained), to the entire hand and your forearm. It also helps keep the wrist straight. Or scoop child from the butt (@fastal mentioned this as well)
  • Wear a wrist brace. This helps support any weakness (I was dropping things all the time).
  • Take it easy on your phone... you add strain to your thumb with the motions on touchscreens.

Good luck! I hope you feel better soon!


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