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De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. The condition causes pain when you turn or bend your wrist, grasp an object or make a fist. The exact cause of the condition is not known. Activities that rely on repetitive hand or wrist movement — typing,  working, playing golf or racket sports, or lifting your baby — can make it worse.

Symptoms of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis:

  • Pain – base of your thumb
  • Swelling – base of your thumb
  • Difficulty moving thumb and wrist

If the condition goes too long without treatment, the pain may spread further into your thumb, back into your forearm or both. Wrist and thumb movements will aggravate the symptoms

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a condition which affects the tendons attaching into the thumb. Tendons are rope like structures that attach muscle to bone. With any wrist, thumb or hand movement, the two tendons in your wrist and thumb will glide through the small tunnel that connects them to the base of the thumb. Repeating a particular motion day after day may irritate the sheath around the two tendons which can cause thickening and swelling that restricts their movement.

Other causes of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis:

  • Direct injury to your wrist or tendon; scar tissue can restrict movement of the tendons
  • Inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis

Risk factors:

  • Age: Individuals between the age of 30 and 50 have a higher risk of developing de Quervain’s tenosynovitis
  • Sex: Affects females more than males
  • Pregnancy: The condition may be associated with pregnancy. Lifting your child repeatedly involves using your thumbs as leverage and may also be associated with the condition.
  • Repeated hand and wrist movements: can contribute to de Quervain’s tenosynovitis.

Physiotherapy is an effective way to manage the symptoms of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. If you are struggling with symptoms from De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, get in touch with Physiotherapy Professionals Parramatta.