If you are experiencing pain and swelling just underneath your thumb, the tendons in this area are likely inflamed. The pain is mild at the beginning but gets worse if left untreated. It’s best to seek help right away, as you may lose the ability to grip, pinch or use your wrist as time goes on. Physical therapy is proven to help ease the pain, and restore mobility back to your thumb. Most patients have had results in short sessions. Contact a physical therapist today, to evaluate your hand, and prescribe a treatment plan for you. Learn all about De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis below.
What is De Quervain's Tenosynovitis?
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a painful inflammation of the tendons in the wrist. It usually affects the tendons that are under the thumb. There are 2 tendons at the base of the thumb. When the sheaths (casing) that protect the tendons get inflamed or swollen, this restricts the movement of the tendons and causes swelling. When the swollen tendons rub against the narrow tunnel they have to go through, it causes pain at the bottom and around the thumb
What Causes De Quervain's Tenosynovitis?
The causes for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis are not known. However, activities that require repetitive wrist or hand motions such as typing, gardening, hammering, can contribute and worsen it. Risk factors include:
What are the Symptoms of De Quervain's Tenosynovitis?
If you have you De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis may experience the following symptoms:
These symptoms may begin as mild, and get worse over time if left untreated. Pain may begin to travel up your arm. You may gradually start losing the ability to grasp or pinch. It is best to seek help immediately when you notice such symptoms.
How is De Quervain's Tenosynovitis Diagnosed?
At polygon PT, a physical therapist will examine your shoulder, elbow, and wrist. The therapist will apply pressure on your thumb to check if it hurts. After this, you will get the Finkelstein test. The therapist will ask that you bend your thumb towards your palm, then bend the rest fingers over the thumb to make a fist. If pain is felt at the thumb de Quervain’s tenosynovitis is confirmed.
How is De Quervain's Tenosynovitis treated?
A treatment plan will be created for you by your therapist. The goal is to ease the symptoms and prevent them. The plan will likely include:
In very rare cases, surgery may be used to release the sheaths of the tendons, so they can move freely. After which post-operative rehab begins to strengthen and restore full motion to the thumb and wrist. Most patients have proven physical therapy to be effective, so in most cases, surgery is avoided completely.
Physical Therapy for De Quervain's Tenosynovitis Today
Don’t delay your care! Our therapists at Polygon PT are delighted to help you achieve the same results other patients have had with physical therapy – quick and complete recovery from de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis If you are having the symptoms above or any other kind of wrist pain, request an appointment with one of our physical therapists now.