DeQuervain’s is a painful condition that affects the thumb tendons at the wrist level. It involves the thumb tendons that lift the thumb up and away from the palm. At the wrist level these tendons run through a tunnel-like structure which usually allows for pain-free, fluid motion.
Inflammation of these tendons, or the outer tunnel can result in impaired gliding of the tendons causing pain and restricted movement.
DeQuervain’s can be caused by repetitive thumb and wrist movement or less commonly, acute injury to this area such as a direct blow or fall on an outstretched hand. It can also be associated with breastfeeding and picking up a new baby with the thumb up and out, away from the palm.
There is usually pain at the thumb side of the wrist, aggravated by grasping and pinching activities. A feeling of catching or crunching under the skin with movement of the thumb may also be present. You may have reduced thumb movement and swelling over the bony prominence on the thumb side of the wrist.
A hand therapist can help by fabricating a custom made orthosis that limits wrist and thumb range of movement to allow the thumb tendons to rest, decrease inflammation and promote healing.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, book an appointment.