De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a condition named after the doctor who first described it. It is also known as Tendovaginitis Stenosans or Stenosizing Tenosynovitis.
Two tendons connected to the thumb, at the level of the wrist, are bundled in a tunnel of fibrous stiff tissue (also called the tendon tube). If this tendon tube is overloaded, irritation will occur. This irritation is a sterile inflammation. Because of this sterile inflammation, the tissue (Synovium) of the tendon tube swells, reducing the space for the tendons to move freely. This makes the movement of the tendons stiffer, causing the tendons to become irritated. This eventually gives pain to the thumb side of the wrist, especially when using your hand or wrist.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis occurs in women more than men. It is often caused by certain sports in which the hands are used predominantly (such as tennis, rowing, golfing, and bowling), but also professions with repetitive movements of the wrist are at a higher risk to develop the condition. The prolonged use of big screen smartphones has recently been connected to a higher risk of developing the condition.

How Do I Recognize De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?

Symptoms often include:

  • Pain or soreness at the base of the thumb
  • Pain that starts at the wrist and spreads through the forearm
  • Shooting pains at the base of the thumb when holding/picking up things
  • Sometimes the injured area might swell after overload
  • Touching the injured area causes pain

Sometimes simple actions such as picking up a glass of water become nearly impossible as the pain makes us releasing our grip.

Is There Any Treatment for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?

Most important is that the hand and wrist stay active, but avoid any activities that require the thumb. If you primarily use your hands playing the sport of your choice, it is strongly recommended to take a temporary break or pick another sport that does not require the full strength of your hands and/or thumb, until you are fully recovered from the injury. If you keep putting strain and pressure on the injured thumb/hand, the condition will not improve and the inflammation might get worse over time.
If you experience pain at the thumb or wrist, a cold compress might be applied to numb the affected area, reducing pain and/or tenderness. The cold compress will also reduce any swelling of the affected area.
For a quick and full recovery relaxed muscle massages and ultrasound therapy is highly recommended. Inquire at our clinic or make an appointment with one of our qualified physicians to diagnose the exact cause of your ailment and find the course of treatment that exactly fit your needs and make you rapidly and fully recover from De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis.

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