Abductor Pollicis Brevis

Original Editor - Anneta Adamou Top Contributors - Anneta Adamou, Saumya Srivastava and Kim Jackson

Original Editor - User Name

Top Contributors - Anneta Adamou, Saumya Srivastava and Kim Jackson


Abductor pollicis brevis muscle is the most lateral and superficial of the three muscles forming the thenar eminence.[1]


It takes its origin from the front of transverse carpal ligament, extending into the tubercles of scaphoid and trapezium with an occasional contribution from the tendon of abductor pollicis longus.[2]


The muscle has a short tendon which attaches to the radial side of the base of the proximal phalanx of the thumb.[3]


Median nerve C8, T1.[4]


Princeps pollicis artery.[4]


It acts to abduct the carpometacarpal joint of the thumb.[5]

Clinical relevance[6]


The function can be tested by providing resistance to abduction up and away from the plane of the palm.[7]


Strength Tips

There are some useful exercises to strengthen the abductor pollicis brevis muscle which include many common techniques that you can do in your own home on your own time.



  1. Cael C. Functional anatomy. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2011
  2. Palastanga N, Field D, Soames R. Anatomy and human movement. 4th ed. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2002.
  3. Lippert L, Lippert L. Clinical kinesiology and anatomy. 4th ed. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis; 2006.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Tiwana MS, Sinkler MA, Bordoni B. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Triceps Muscle. StatPearls [Internet]. 2020 May 30
  5. The Muscles of the Hand - Thenar - Hypothenar - TeachMeAnatomy [Internet]. Teachmeanatomy.info. 2020 [cited 21 September 2020]. Available from: https://teachmeanatomy.info/upper-limb/muscles/hand/?fbclid=IwAR12pBXShD88Na_jqJc6bSMhslR1-4F573kwF60ZHdV3C67U7380Itmqgxk#Lumbricals
  6. Harrison M. Common problems. Neurological Skills. 1987;:63-99.
  7. UC San Diego's Practical Guide to Clinical Medicine [Internet]. Meded.ucsd.edu. 2020 [cited 22 September 2020]. Available from: https://meded.ucsd.edu/clinicalmed/joints3.html
  8. MMT Abductor pollicis brevis & Adductor pollicis. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYLm6rL3v-I&feature=emb_logo [Last accessed 1/10/2020]
  9. Exercises to Strengthen the Abductor Pollicis Brevis Muscle : Sports Conditioning. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYsZLTrUT1I&feature=emb_logo [Last accessed 30/9/2020]