De Quervain’s tenosynovitis/disease (DQV), is an overuse condition that results in pain on the radial or thumb side of the wrist.
DQV is the inflammation of the extensor pollicus brevis (EPB) and abductor pollius longus (APL) tendon sheaths, as they run underneath the 1st dorsal extensor compartment. These tendons attach the muscles to bone and are responsible for the upwards and outwards movement of the thumb, needed when grasping an object.
The inflammation of the tendon sheaths results in increased fluid and reduced glide of the tendons, leading to friction and pain with repetitive or prolonged thumb and wrist movements.
DQV is a common condition that is generally linked to overuse and work related, repetitive movements. There are many activities in our daily lives that may result in the development of DQV.
Increased use of mobile phones, ipad’s, gaming consoles.
DQV can present as mild or of a chronic nature, that builds over time or it can come on seemingly suddenly and with a high, debilitating level of pain. Treatment should be individualised for each person but in general is aimed at reducing inflammation and pain, increasing range of movement and strength and return to desired functional tasks.
Activity modification is key. If you notice early pain on the thumb side of your wrist, pay attention. Consider the following:
DQV can be a persistent and niggling condition that impacts simple daily activities. The best approach to managing DQV is to have a program that is individualised for you. At Melbourne Hand Therapy, we can provide a thorough assessment, advise on appropriate splinting options and help formulate a treatment plan that reduces your pain and helps you return to the activities that are most important to you. We are also able to advise on when a medical or surgical consultation is appropriate.