What is De Quervain’s? Commonly referred to as “texting/gamer’s thumb” in today’s technology age, De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a painful condition affecting the tendons of thumb side of the wrist. With overuse, the tendons that normally glide smoothly in the back of the thumb/wrist, can become inflamed and thickened, restricting their movement.
What are the symptoms? May have increased pain with grasping, turning the wrist or making a fist. Swelling and pain can occur at the base of the thumb and the thumb might feel like it gets “stuck” when trying to move it. If you wait too long to get treatment, the pain can spread further into the thumb and down the forearm.
What causes De Quervain’s? May occur with repetitive motions of the hand or wrist, such as with recreational activities (tennis, golf, etc) or everyday activities like lifting your baby at home or gardening. Direct injury to the wrist/hand or conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can also cause this as well.
Who is at risk? More common in people between the ages of 30-50 yrs, women, during pregnancy, and in employees that perform repetitive hand/wrist motions at their jobs.
Treatments: Resting the affected thumb, wearing a brace/splint, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, aleve), applying cold to the affected area, physical or occupational therapy.
- Pull wrist in a downward motion with opposite hand. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 3 times daily.
- Pull wrist back towards forearm with opposite hand. Hold for 30 seconds and perform 3 times daily.
- Put a large rubber band around the outside of all of the fingers.
- Slowly pull outwards against the resistance of the band to open up fingers.
- Hold for 3 seconds in the outward position, perform 10 times x 2 sets daily.
- Grip fingers around a ball and squeeze for 5 seconds, then release.
- Perform 10 times x 2 sets daily.