Icon-About usAcon-AskIcon-CommunityIcon-What HurtsIcon-Loginattck-blackPath 5Group
Upswing Health

Connect with a certified trainer for free

Invalid phone number
Something went wrong please try again.

Thank you for contacting us!

Check your phone’s messaging application for next steps.
We are here to help!

Kelsey

Start a text message conversation

Text Kelsey

Start a conversation

Txt & Data rates may apply. Your phone number will be never sold or used for marketing purposes and you can always opt out of the text conversation by replying,"stop".

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a painful condition marked by swelling of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. Tendons are tough, fibrous cords that connect muscle to bone and allow the fingers and thumb to move. Tendons normally glide through a sheath when your muscles contract, allowing your fingers and thumb to bend. When the tendons become inflamed and swollen, they can’t easily move through the sheath, causing irritation and pain.

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Hero Image 2

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a painful condition marked by swelling of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. Tendons are tough, fibrous cords that connect muscle to bone and allow the fingers and thumb to move. Tendons normally glide through a sheath when your muscles contract, allowing your fingers and thumb to bend. When the tendons become inflamed and swollen, they can’t easily move through the sheath, causing irritation and pain.

What causes De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is thought to be caused by chronic, repetitive use of the wrist and thumb. It is most common in these sports:

• Racket sports (tennis, racket ball, squash)
• Golf

Symptoms

Athletes with de Quervain’s tenosynovitis often feel pain when making a fist or grasping motion. Other common symptoms include:

• Pain (sharp or dull) at the base of the thumb
• Swelling on the thumb side of the wrist
• Pain that spreads further into the thumb and forearm
• Catching or snapping sensation when moving the thumb

When to see a doctor

Athletes with symptoms of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis can try at home care treatments, such as resting the affected thumb, applying a cold pack, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication like ibuprofen. If symptoms persist, you should see your doctor.
During your visit, your doctor will examine your hand and wrist to see where it hurts. He or she may ask you to perform the Finkelstein test, a simple diagnostic test that stretches your tendons by bending your fingers over your thumb to make a fist.

Non-operative treatment

To relieve pain and swelling caused by de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, your doctor may recommend conservative treatments, including the following:

• Splint: A splint may help rest the thumb and wrist.
• Medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication like ibuprofen can be used for pain relief.
• Steroid Injections: Corticosteroid injections (anti-inflammatory agents) can reduce swelling and pain.
• Physical Therapy: Gentle exercises can help reduce stiffness and increase mobility in your finger.

You can also try these exercises at home:

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

Surgical Treatment

If conservative treatment options are not successful in relieving your symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery. Your surgeon will open the sheath around the swollen tendon, providing more room for the tendons in your hand to relieve irritation and pain.

Recovery

Athletes can expect to return to their normal activities, though a full return to play can take several weeks. Moderate activity usually can begin sooner. Your doctor may recommend wearing a brace while at play, as well as physical therapy to speed the recovery process.

Get an account for free.

Already have an account?

Thanks for signing up!

Welcom to your new community at Upswing Health.

Please check your email for your activation link.

Close