This is a subject that fascinates me and maybe you have had a similar experience. It was my right thumb joint, which I had injured in a ski accident as a young adult, that exhibited the first arthritis joint pain a decade ago.
Sometimes the reason is that the athlete didn’t allow enough time to heal before getting back in the game, but I remember trying various healing modalities back then, yet the thumb joint never returned to normal, but developed a bone spur shortly after the injury.
It took me months, maybe years - I don’t clearly remember - to regain normal flexibility in that joint. It’s also hard to fully recover the most important joint in your dominant hand. Come on! 😉
To learn more check out the article below that provides a great summary of this phenomenon and shows that arthritis can develop at any age. ⬇️