Tendons are thick, flexible tissues that connect bones to muscles. Two vital tendons are found in the thumb and extend to one side of the wrist in the human body. When these tendons become inflamed or irritated, what is known in medicine as de Quervain’s tendonitis occurs. This condition can be caused by playing sports such as tennis and golf and by frequently lifting children.
People with Quervain’s tendonitis experience pain in the thumb when making a fist or grasping an object, numbness in the big toe and index finger, swelling of the wrist, and stiffness when moving the joint. Treating this disease early is essential to avoid surgery. We invite you to continue reading this article by FastlyHealon Quervain’s tendonitis: causes, treatment, and exercises.
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Causes of Quervain’s tendonitis
Quervain’s tendinitis can be caused by many factors, and many of them involve overuse of the tendon, traumatic injury, or loss of elasticity due to aging. People of any age and gender can suffer this disease. The leading causes of Quervain’s tendonitis are:
- Play tennis or golf.
- Carry out forced household chores.
- They are frequently holding babies or young children.
- Perform some physical activity with your hands after a time of sedentary lifestyle.
- The constant use of the mouse or computer mouse.
- Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Loss of elasticity due to aging.
Treatment of De Quervain’s tendonitis
The treatment for De Quervain’s tendonitis is to decrease the pain and inflammation of the two injured tendons. For this, the medical specialist will recommend using a splint that immobilizes the thumb and the consumption of anti-inflammatory drugs to eliminate the swelling.
The splint will help deflate the tendons by preventing them from moving. Ideally, use it day and night for at least four weeks and then two more weeks of exclusive night use. If, after immobilizing the finger and taking the medications, the pain and discomfort continue, then it is likely that the doctor will decide to perform an infiltration with corticosteroids to improve the discomfort by up to 60%.
To alleviate the symptoms of Quervain’s tendonitis, it is recommended:
- Apply ice to the wrist and thumb for 20 minutes every hour.
- Using over-the-counter pain relievers can help decrease discomfort.
- It is important not to continue to overuse the joint and the affected finger to prevent the tendons from constantly swelling and deflating. Therefore, respecting the use of the splint is essential for recovery.
Many people do not fully recover from Quervain’s tendonitis; in these cases, it is necessary to carry out a surgical intervention to give more space to the tendons and allow them to move without rubbing the carpal tunnel.
Rehabilitation for De Quervain’s tendonitis
Those who suffer from De Quervain’s tendinitis and have used a splint for a long time may need to undergo some physical therapy sessions to rehabilitate the joint and thumb and regain the correct mobility of the tendons. In general, each rehab session for de Quervain tendonitis includes:
- Cold application in the affected area.
- Heat application to the wrist and finger.
- Therapeutic ultrasound to help decrease inflammation and pain.
- Application of magnetotherapy to regenerate the injured tissue and accelerate the reduction of inflammation.
- Therapeutic massage to stimulate mobility without pain.
- Therapeutic exercises.
Exercises for de Quervain’s tendonitis
These exercises should be carried out once there is no pain in the wrist or finger. The most effective are:
- Gently squeeze a rubber ball with your hand. As the exercise is carried out, the pressure with which the squeeze should be increased. Ideally, do at least five sessions of 10 contractions each.
- Another exercise is to join the fingertips of one hand with the fingertips of the other hand. Hold this pose for 1 minute, and then make a fist with the injured hand.
A heating pad is also recommended before and after any activity that requires mobility of the thumb tendons. For example, you can use the heating pad before you go to work for 20 minutes and after getting home. Massaging the fatigued area helps loosen the muscles.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Tendinitis de Quervain: causes, treatment, and exercises, we recommend entering our category of Bones, Joints, and Muscles.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.