A Sordid Tale Of A Human Thumb
The thumb is a very useful piece of equipment to have. It is used opposite the fingers to hold and guide the ball. For some, those with deep bending wrists, it serves as a pin on which to sit the ball in order to build high rotation. How the thumb is fitted into the bowling ball is crucial.
I don’t want this article to get confused with Bowlers Thumb, the injury. Bowler’s thumb is a medical condition, which is caused due to repeated pressure or compression of the nerve. The condition talked about here is one that is not associated with the nerve except where it gets on your nerves. For the injury of Bowler’s Thumb, see https://www.epainassist.com/sports-injuries/finger-injuries/bowlers-thumb. RotoGrip also has a piece on this at https://www.rotogrip.org/bowlers-thumb-treatment/. One can get a lofty description of this injury from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4623560/ which is the National Institute of Health. Just click on the urls.
From the very start of my bowling I was lucky enough to have a good driller. She knew that no 2 drillers were the same, and that each person had to find their own. I used that first ball that she had drilled for some time. Eventually my game finally progressed and newer, “better”, equipment was needed. I had also changed places of residence as well as the original driller had gone out of business. I tried several drillers ultimately finding one that turned out to suit my needs. Somewhere in this process I had developed a habit of gripping the ball with my thumb bent. This might have been a product of driller miscalculation or my changing habits. Whatever the actual root, this caused a blister (See illustration) on the back of the thumb. This quickly became very uncomfortable. Painful when trying to bowl. This turns out to be a slow to no, healing, blister if one is a frequent bowler. Continued use and abuse eventually raised an area right on top of the bone. Multiple methods were tried in order to protect this area, including tape. For this particular injury the use of a skin protector has worked out best, but even once the actual blister was gone, there is still a large callous. This area is now always protected.
Below are three of the most available products. These can be found in pro shops as well as vending machines. Of course they can be ordered on-line.