Popping and pain in thumb

michelle_s_phxazAugust 25, 2005

About 4 inches from the tip of my thumb at the joint my thumb keeps popping and it hurts BAD. I am thinking tendonitis or carpal tunnel, but I can't get to the doctor until next month.

I just started back dealing blackjack in a casino, I dealt for about 7 years but have been supervising for the last four. I never had any problems back then. Now, after just 6 weeks of dealing, I am in so much pain! I hold my thumb as still as I can and try to use the other fingers (as with typing this) but I need to try to figure this out.

I have bought an Ace bandage and wrapped my thumb against my hand, but I can't deal with it on, I can't wear a bandage this large at work.

Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks!

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lazy_gardens

Look up "trigger finger" (no kidding!)

It's a correctible problem with a tendon.

It's probably an RSI, if you are a dealer.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 10:32PM
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michelle_s_phxaz

Thanks Lazy! I looked it up, I will talk to my physical therapist (unrelated back problem) in the morning. My husband is ready to trade me in for a newer model!!!

What does RSI stand for?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 12:21AM
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lazy_gardens

RSI = repetitive strain injury = injury caused from doing something over and over (like dealing cards, hammering, driving)

Often qualifies you for a transfer to another job while you heal ...

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 8:56AM
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Logfrog

I am assuming that it's your dealing hand. Practice using the other hand. It may take a while, but it can be done. It would help prevent damage to that thumb. It could be just some arthritis.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 12:29PM
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michelle_s_phxaz

Unfortunately, LogFrog, it takes two hands to deal and pay out! There is no way to do it one handed. It would be like trying to knit with one hand!!!

Lazy, I hope I wouldn't have to quit dealing for a while. There is no "light duty" in our department, and I work for tips so I can't afford to take the time off at $5.15/hour!!! I hope stabalizing it will help, I will talk to the EMT at work, my therapist said she could start doing hand therapy if they approve it.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 4:14PM
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Logfrog

I didn't mean one-handed, I should have gone into more detail. Train yourself to swap what you do. Deal the card with the other hand, and hold with your "bad" hand. What you will be trying to do is change the type of strain on that hand. If this is an on-going problem, alternating hands will come in handy. It will take patience and practice. It will feel "wrong" and awkward, but I think you will be surprised at how fast you learn.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 7:20PM
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michelle_s_phxaz

Unfortunately it is not possible to swap hands, as there are very specific rules as to how we deal the cards (as it is in all casinos). The cards must be pulled out of the shoe with your left hand, and the first two spots must have the cards delivered with the left hand. Spots 3-7 must be delivered with the right hand, and if you try to do this differently you will be written up by surveillance or the supervisor watching the game. This is for game protection, so your hands don't cross your body, giving you a chance to steal the chips in the rack. Everything is very, very set, down to the smallest detail with no room to deviate. It would be nice to be able to do this differently, but even if I were to switch hands I think my back would go out from all the twisting and turning!

Thanks again for all the help, I will hopefully be better soon!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 1:32PM
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Logfrog

OOhhh, THAT kind of dealing. I wasn't really thinking about a shoe. I should have known. I can see why you can't swap hands. Let's hope your doctor can come up with a solution for you. Have you tried anything like a hot or cold pack? If it's arthritis, the hot pack might be the best choice.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 8:22PM
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michelle_s_phxaz

It isn't arthritis, the x-rays showed nothing out of the ordinary so it is just irritated at the joint. I start hand therapy tomorrow, just some excercises to loosen up my hands. Thanks again for all the help!!!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 5:48PM
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