top of page

Hyper-flexibility in the thumb

A few of us noticed the extremely excellent "thumb-under technique" that David Lee displayed in his playing in this week's Musicale. I even kidded that maybe he had had surgery to dislocate his thumb! Just how different can our thumbs all be, and does that determine our ability to play scale passages smoothly? I decided to do a bit of research on thumb flexibility. It's frequently a topic in my household - my husband does not have flexibility at all, and bemoans the fact, as it hinders his guitar playing.


So on Youtube, I discovered a demonstration of the tests for diagnosing Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder where hypermobility in various joints occurs.



One can have hypermobility in various joints without having this syndrome, so don't worry if you can do some of the flexibility tests!


Also interesting were the images displayed when I Googled "Steinberg sign thumb". People who are positive for this sign are able to fold their thumb completely under the rest of their fingers to the point that it protrudes beyond their hand - wow! I kinda think that would be an advantage in playing scales smoothly....


Further Googling images, I tried looking for what MY thumb looks like, so I Googled "meaty thumb". I did find a diagram of the hand that identifies this part as the "Thenor". The opposite side of the hand - for me, also meaty - is the "Hypothenor". But most of the images had something to do with testing the doneness of a steak....so, before I really go down a rabbit hole, I'll end this here - although I'd love to hear your thoughts and observations.

25 views6 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Brain health, continued

There is evidence that one of the mechanisms by which exercise benefits the brain involves exercise-induced circulating blood factors produced by the liver (1). There is evidence that one of the measu

Principles of healthful aging

You might enjoy "Outlive" by Peter Attia, M.D. Published in 2023, this well-written and well-referenced book echoes the health principles and insights I recently gathered from my own review of the mo

RSV vaccines available

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections are surging in Georgia at this time (September 2023), but new single-dose vaccines are now available by prescription and recommended for adults over age 60

bottom of page