De Quervain syndrome – exercises for recovery
Tue,Feb 02, 2016 at 01:27PM by Carla Mullins
What is de Quervain syndrome?
De Quervain syndrome is a painful inflammation of tendons in the thumb that extend to the wrist (tenosynovitis). The swollen tendons and their coverings rub against the narrow tunnel through which they pass. The result is pain at the base of the thumb and extending into the lower arm.
De Quervain syndrome is also known as mother’s wrist, BlackBerry thumb, texting thumb, gamer’s thumb, washerwoman’s sprain, radial styloid tenosynovitis, de Quervain disease, de Quervain’s tenosynovitis or de Quervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis.
A picture of the tendon and the general test for determining de Quervain syndrome is shown below.
Who is more likely to get de Quervain syndrome?
Women are 80% more likely than men to experience de Quervain syndrome. As a tendonitis condition it is generally a result of overuse. It is extremely common in mothers who have young babies and toddlers, as they are regularly carrying their babies on their forearms.
What to do about de Quervain syndrome?
If a person is starting to experience pain in the side of the wrists along to the thumb they should see a doctor or physiotherapist as soon as possible. If it is a tendonitis condition such as de Quervain syndrome the earlier they can address the inflammation the better your long-term outcome.
The general practice is to apply ice to reduce the inflammation and to apply a splint. The person will need to wear a splint 24 hours a day for between four and six weeks.
Exercises to strengthen the thumb and the wrists are important as part of the long term recovery from de Quervain syndrome. Below are some simple exercises that can be done at home to help strengthen your wrists and thumbs.
Carla Mullins is co-director and co-owner of Body Organics, a multidisciplinary health and body movement practice with 3 studios in Brisbane. Carla is a Level 4 Professional Practitioner with the APMA and has also studied pilates with PITC as well as Polestar. She also has a LLB (QUT), M. Soc Sc & Policy (UNSW), Diploma Pilates Professional Practice (PITC), Gyrotonic Level 1, CoreAlign Level 1, 2 and 3 and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.