De Quervain’s Tendonitis. That sounds like something extremely painful and difficult to resolve. While this medical condition affecting your thumb and wrist might indeed get really painful, in most cases its treatment is simple when conducted by a hand specialist. To recognize this condition at an early stage, it’s best to know the causes, symptoms and treatment options.
Causes of De Quervain’s Tendonitis
Tendons are an important part of your hands since they attach your muscles to your bones. They are strong, flexible tissues that make sure you can move your hands easily. When your tendons are healthy, you don’t even notice their existence. However, sometimes it can become painful and that’s when you start noticing it.
De Quervain’s Tendonitis happens when the tendons running from the back of your thumb to the side of your wrist swell so much that they are no longer able to slide through a small tunnel called the tendon sheath. This is caused by the overuse of the tendons. Activities such as tennis or golf may contribute to its development or make it worse. Constantly lifting and carrying a child can also put you at a higher risk. Pregnant women and anyone with rheumatoid arthritis develop De Quervain’s Tendonitis more often than others.
Symptoms of De Quervain’s Tendonitis
De Quervain’s Tendonitis can cause strong pain to the person suffering from it. A common symptom is pain over the thumb side of the wrist that can travel up the forearm. The pain usually gets worse when the hand and thumb are in use. For example, grabbing something or moving your wrist feels painful. You might also notice swelling over the thumb side of the wrist. The swelling might be accompanied by a fluid-filled cyst. Furthermore, De Quervain’s Tendonitis can cause difficulty moving the thumb and wrist because of pain and swelling, and a catching sensation when moving the thumb.
Treatment of De Quervain’s Tendonitis
If you experience the symptoms described above, you can try resting the affected hand and putting ice on it regularly. Wrap the ice in a towel or a piece of clothing before applying it on your skin. This home remedy can provide temporary relief from the symptoms.
In addition, you should contact a hand specialist to get De Quervain’s Tendonitis treated as soon as possible. They will examine your individual situation in order to find the right course of treatment for you. Depending on the case, De Quervain’s Tendonitis may require non-surgical or surgical treatment. The non-surgical treatment options can include a thumb splint, prescription medication, resting the tendons, occupational therapy, topical creams, soaking or ultrasound.
Sometimes De Quervain’s Tendonitis requires a surgical course of treatment. This may be the case if you have chronic De Quervain’s Tendonitis, and the tendon needs more space to slide smoothly through the tendon sheath. The surgical procedure usually takes about 10 minutes and can be conducted with local or general anesthesia. In most cases, patients are able to resume regular activity soon after the procedure.
If you’re tired of dealing with your hand or wrist pain, make an appointment with us to discuss your treatment options.