De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
De Quervains Tenosynovitis
De Quervains tenosynovitis is the inflammation of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. The condition is quite painful, especially during movements that involve rotating the wrist or making a fist or gripping items. It is technically considered an entrapment syndrome of the first dorsal compartment at the wrist that affects the tendons of the abductor pollicus longus and extensor pollicus brevis muscles.
What causes De Quervains tenosynovitis?
The exact cause of De Quervains Tenosynovitis is unknown, but it is likely results from repetitive movements of the hand and wrist. This repetitive motion can cause thickening of the tendons which can inhibit efficient gliding movements in the tendon sheaths. This thickening causes inflammation, pain and swelling in the area. Often mothers with toddlers and people working in day care can also experience this condition after repetitively picking up and holding babies or small children. Direct trauma to the first dorsal compartment can also lead to tenosynovitis.
What are the symptoms of De Quervains tenosynovitis?
The most common symptoms are pain, swelling and inflammation on the lateral (thumb) side of the wrist. Pain is typically from the wrist down the thumb. Xray of the wrist may also reveal thickening of the radial styloid.
What are the Physiotherapy treatments?
De Quervains tenosynovitis is often treated with splinting of the thumb and wrist to immobilize the muscles and allow the area to calm down from irritation. Physical therapy can be useful during this condition to review your typical hand and wrist movements and teach you how to make adjustments to prevent future occurrence. Physical therapists can also teach you exercises for the hand, wrist and arm to strengthen the muscles, decrease pain, and prevent future irritation. Ultrasound and Laser Therapy can be useful in reducing inflammation of the thumb tendons.