Treating De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

Treating De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

What is de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?

De Quervain's Tenosynovitis is a condition that affects the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist, resulting in pain and discomfort. It is caused by overuse or repetitive motion of the hand and wrist, leading to inflammation and irritation of the tendons.

This condition is more commonly found in women than men, especially those who are pregnant or have recently given birth. De Quervain's Tenosynovitis can make it difficult to perform daily tasks, such as grasping objects or using a computer mouse. If left untreated, it can worsen over time and decrease the quality of life.

What Causes de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?

De Quervain's Tenosynovitis is a condition that can cause pain and discomfort in the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. This condition typically occurs when the tendons responsible for controlling the movement of the thumb become irritated or inflamed. There are several factors that can contribute to the development of this condition.

One of the primary causes of De Quervain's Tenosynovitis is repetitive motion or overuse of the hand and wrist, which can lead to inflammation and pain in the tendons. Activities such as gardening, knitting, playing musical instruments, or using a computer mouse for long periods can all cause this type of strain on the tendons.

Another common cause of De Quervain's Tenosynovitis is an injury to the wrist or hand. This can be a sudden injury caused by a fall or impact or a chronic injury that fails to heal properly. Injuries can damage the tendons and cause inflammation and pain in the wrist.

Certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, and diabetes can also increase the likelihood of developing De Quervain's Tenosynovitis. These conditions cause inflammation throughout the body, including in the tendons of the wrist, which can further exacerbate the strain on the tendons and lead to the development of this condition.

Individuals with these conditions must be aware of the potential for tendon issues and take steps to prevent or manage them. This may include practicing proper ergonomics and seeking medical treatment if symptoms arise.

What are the symptoms of Quervain’sTenosynovitis?

The symptoms of Quervain's Tenosynovitis include pain and swelling in the wrist and thumb area. The pain is usually a dull ache that can be felt when moving the thumb, making a fist, or gripping something. The area may also be tender to the touch, and there may be a popping or clicking sensation when moving the thumb.

Another symptom of Quervain's Tenosynovitis is difficulty with gripping or holding objects. This can be particularly troublesome for those who use their hands frequently for work or hobbies. The pain and weakness can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks, such as opening jars or turning doorknobs.

In some cases, the pain may also radiate up the forearm or into the thumb. This can be particularly bothersome at night, as it can disrupt sleep. It is important to seek treatment for Quervain's Tenosynovitis to prevent further damage and to alleviate symptoms.

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis treatment

De Quervain's tenosynovitis treatment is aimed at helping you minimize pain and swelling by changing your lifestyle or with medical intervention. Read on for more information on what the various treatment plans entail.

To many, exercising might seem like a simple activity, but many types of exercise have specific benefits. One exercise that has proven effective in treating de Quervain's tenosynovitis is low-impact aerobics. This option reduces pain and swelling while improving strength and endurance, particularly regarding the wrists.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

Patients can now easily treat their ailments at home with minimal healthcare professional supervision. These treatments focus on reducing inflammation and pain to alleviate infections or illnesses.


One of the best cures for a weak hand is to give it some much-needed rest. De Quervain's disease is often due to repetitive movements or plain handling of something too long. Many are guilty of not allowing their body (or hands) essential time and space to heal properly and fully.

This can harm our long-term health, so do your best to take care of things that need attention quickly! It'll help prevent any delays in healing when you know something isn't right with your body, and then try your best to remember that repairing what's been hurt is the right thing to do.

Tell friends and family, who will likely understand if you ask them nicely because they must care for themselves. After all, it's not selfish; it keeps us all thriving!

Heat & Cold therapy

Heat and Cold therapy are two very different yet complementary therapies. Cold therapy reduces swelling by limiting blood flow to the area and numbing pain by interrupting the pain signal. Heat encourages blood flow to an area, which speeds up healing. Heat relieves soreness because it soothes tired muscles and keeps movement flowing freely.

Just remember that it's important not to have ice or heat on your skin for too long, even with a hot therapy relief heating pad or other similar things, like hot water bottles. That can cause serious skin damage after prolonged exposure, no matter how good it feels at the moment.

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    Change in Activity

    Avoid activities that cause thumb pain or worsen your symptoms. Whenever you feel pain along the thumb side, take note and assess how to avoid that movement. Sometimes the simplest change can make a big difference in your relief from thumb pain.


    There are so many pill bottles to keep track of, but it is necessary! Just make sure you know when and how much of each med you take daily. These medications typically cost less than $10. Usually, NSAIDs can be found in any pharmacy or grocery store, and they don't require a prescription.

    Therefore, they're affordable and easy to find anywhere that sells these products. Always talk with your doctor before taking new medications – even the common over-the-counter ones!

    This will allow you to watch for possible side effects before it's too late. Also, remind everyone in your house not to take any medication (even if they resemble Tylenol) unless their doctor prescribed them or specifically brought them into the home by someone given specific permission from the doctor to administer that specific medication.

    Splints and Braces

    Wearing a splint or brace at night and throughout the day allows your hand to grasp things properly, preventing pain along the thumb's base. This is because wearing a splint lets you freely move your thumb without obstructing it but still gives your hand structure to keep its normal shape at all times without stressing it.

    Wearing a comfortable finger spica splint overnight is recommended, as it meets safety requirements and can allow one's mobility while not taking away from the general functionality of their hand during daily activities.

    Stretches and Exercises

    After the inflammation and pain have subsided, it is time to stretch and exercise your arm and hand. Stretching will help you regain any lost range of motion and work through any scar tissue that has developed. Exercise will strengthen the surrounding muscles to prevent additional injury. Also, it reinforces your muscle memory so that you can easily do everyday activities like writing or shaking hands!

    Nonsurgical Treatment

    Some patients will require medical attention due to the lackluster success of lifestyle changes and other nonsurgical treatment methods. Luckily, there are various nonsurgical options that patients may consider, including:

    Physical Therapy

    Physical therapists are experts in helping patients manage their pain. They will evaluate you, create treatment plans, and tailor solutions to your needs. Physical therapists often help by guiding exercise, stretching, and even manipulating your muscles and bones to increase strength and restore flexibility as your body heals from injury!

    When you develop a case of de Quervain's tenosynovitis, some people can help you get back on your feet. A fine motor skill is using your hands to perform tasks like buttoning your shirt or writing. Occupational therapists will help you regain control of your fingers to do these things again. These particular healthcare professionals are just one example of how various groups of people aid others during uncertain times such as this one.

    Corticosteroid Injections

    A corticosteroid injection is a commonly used treatment for de Quervain's. The doctor uses steroid medication injected into the injured area with a needle. The steroid injection is typically successful in reducing inflammation and pain. You may be limited by the number of times you receive these injections, and there are potential side effects.


    Surgery is the last option for many individuals suffering from de Quervain's tenosynovitis, so it should be reserved only for people who haven't had success with other treatments. During surgery, the surgeon will make an incision in the wrist to reveal the tendons that restrict movement and cause pain.

    Simply removing that pressure from the area will relieve discomfort caused by this condition and movements within a patient's hand. Surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis and has a quick recovery time, making it an excellent choice for those who want to return to daily life as quickly as possible!

    What to Expect from a Doctor Visit

    Before you walk out the door for a doctor's appointment, always ensure you're prepared when you meet with your physician. Remember that taking notes is an integral part of the process because writing things down will enable you to reference information when needed. Next time you have a doctor's appointment, bring a pen and notebook to write down notes during your appointment and refer back to them later down the road. Then, remember that after the doctor asks a few questions and performs certain tests, they will likely want to offer suggestions about what measures could be taken moving forward and answer any questions you might have about your condition!

    • What are your daily activities like?
    • When did the pain start?
    • What makes it worse?
    • What treatments have you tried?
    • Have you injured that hand or thumb?

    Prevention Tips

    Your wrists are prone to inflaming due to forceful movements and poor posturing. This can be triggered by your employment or even a computer work job. So how do you prevent this condition? We say to work smarter and use the right equipment!

    The smart way is to prop your wrists as you type, such as typing on a wrist rest instead of the hard surface of your desk/keyboard. This action will eliminate unnecessary pressure from building up in your tendons and allow you to continue typing without pain for longer periods. Over time, using this method will cure de Quervain's tendinosis altogether.

    Our best tips are as follows to prevent this painful condition:

    • Avoid repetitive hand movements
    • Take frequent breaks from activities that use your wrists
    • Wear a brace or splint
    • Change your hand movements
    • Follow any medical advice from your doctor or physical therapist.


    Most individuals afflicted with De Quervain's tenosynovitis generally experience positive outcomes and are ultimately relieved of their symptoms through nonsurgical and surgical intervention. Nonsurgical approaches, such as splinting, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and injections, effectively resolve symptoms in 50 to 80% of patients.

    If surgery is not required, favorable outcomes can be expected within 4-6 weeks of adhering to a treatment plan that includes consistently using a splint, implementing therapeutic exercises, and avoiding activities that aggravate the affected tendon.

    In general, The remaining patients typically respond well to surgery. Incidences of complications arising from surgery are infrequent. It is worth noting that patients with diabetes may experience less successful outcomes with injections and are at a higher risk for developing complications related to surgery, such as infections or wound healing issues.

    The recovery period after surgery can be extensive. Although pain and swelling are expected to subside soon, the affected area may remain sensitive for a few months. Removing the stitches within 10 to 14 days after the operation is recommended.

    Followed by this, physical therapy will be resumed for a period of 6 to 8 weeks. The therapy aims to teach you stretches that will aid in the proper movement of tendons and exercises that will strengthen your muscles and stabilize your joints.

    Safe Treatment for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

    De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a condition that affects the hand, thumb, and wrist. Consistency in performing home treatments is crucial for reducing symptoms and preventing flare-ups. In addition, incorporating hot and cold therapy on the affected wrist or taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil) can alleviate pain.

    This condition can be managed with a few lifestyle adjustments. If you have implemented measures to alleviate your discomfort and your wrist is not improving, it is recommended that you seek medical attention.

    De Quervain's can be diagnosed quickly by your doctor, and they can guide you through any specific treatment options that are right for you. Collaborating with a healthcare professional can assist you in determining the optimal plan of action for healing.

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