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What is De Quervain’s Syndrome?

De Quervain’s Syndrome is a condition of the wrist which results in pain on the radial side (the thumb-side) of the wrist. It can cause pain with wrist rotation, making a fist/grasping an item, or if you move your thumb away from the radial side of your wrist, towards the opposite side of the hand (the ulnar side). De Quervain’s Syndrome involves a thickening and swelling of the sheath of tissue that covers the Extensor Pollicis Longus and Extensor Pollicis Brevis Tendons. As the condition progresses, it is possible for the tendons themselves to become involved.

What caused my De Quervain’s Tenosinovitis?

De Quervain’s Syndrome is usually considered to be an overuse injury. Activities involving repetitive pinching, grasping, pulling or pushing may put you at higher risk. This risk is further increased if it comes with a sudden increase in activity. It is common for new mothers to develop De Quervain’s Syndrome, as they start to pick-up their new born with an extended thumb far more frequently.

How can you help me with my De Quervain’s Syndrome?

Your physiotherapist will conduct a thorough and detailed assessment of your condition and how your De Quervain’s Syndrome is affecting your life. Your clinician will then be able to identify the underlying cause of you condition, and information about the surround muscles, joints and structures will guide a specific treatment plan to return you to full function. Typically, treatment will involve techniques designed to settle down the pain at your wrist and improve the movement of the tendons within their sheaths. Your personal treatment plan will also involve exercises designed to strengthen the wrist and the affected tendons back to full health, as well as preventing any future recurrence.

What should I do to avoid aggravating my De Quervain’s Syndrome?

  • AVOID activities that aggravate your pain, your physiotherapist can guide you on alternative movements
  • Talk to your pharmacist regarding
  • For RELIEF, try applying heat to the affected area
  • REMAIN ACTIVE, but avoid aggravating activities.
  • RECEIVE physiotherapy care to get your joints, ligaments and muscles performing to their optimum level

Keep good care of your body and your physiotherapist will continue to monitor your condition. Once your De Quervain’s Syndrome has resolved you will be able to resume your full activities without worrying about future flare-ups.

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