Thumb pain and barre chords

Lately, my thumb muscle (part between base of thumb and wrist) has been quite sore. I can really feel this muscle working when practicing barre chords so I suppose that’s what’s causing it. It’s the second time I’ve had issues playing barre chords, which has really hampered my progress throughout the course. I get the major and minor E shapes right most of the time, but the 7th chords seem to be impossible. I’m really thinking of just skipping them.

I have an Ibanez AR-250 with 12" radius and very thin neck. Could this be part of the problem? I’ve tried to work on making my touch lighter and aligning my thumb with my index or middle finger (not out to the side, which my wrist does not like), but there doesn’t seem to be a way around applying pressure.

I had a lot of thumb pain as well.

Two things helped me a lot.

First, I tried to spend time playing the barre cord without using my thumb at all. Not that I would play them that way outside of practice, but it taught me a lot about how to apply pressure appropriately without so much thumb strain.

I also found that not practicing just barre cords incessantly for hours helped a lot. Toning my zeal down worked wonders.

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