De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, a condition that affects the wrist, hand & thumb and can cause considerable discomfort and inconvenience. If you’ve ever experienced pain, swelling, or difficulty moving your thumb and wrist, this might be the condition you’re dealing with. Whether you’re an avid gamer, a frequent texter, or someone whose job involves repetitive hand movements, understanding De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is crucial to finding relief and preventing its recurrence. In this article, we’ll delve into the causes, symptoms, risk factors, and available treatments for this condition, providing you with valuable insights to help you manage and overcome De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis effectively. Let’s embark on this informative journey together and empower ourselves to take better care of our wrist health.


Common causes of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis:

  • Repetitive hand and wrist movements
  • Overuse of the thumb
  • Straining the wrist through activities like lifting heavy objects
  • Engaging in activities that involve repetitive thumb motion, such as texting or gaming
  • Playing musical instruments that require repetitive hand and wrist movements
  • Injury or trauma to the wrist and thumb area
  • Rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory conditions affecting the wrist tendons
  • Pregnancy, as hormonal changes can affect tendon health
  • Certain medical conditions that increase the risk of tendon inflammation

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and individual cases may have unique contributing factors.


Common symptoms associated with De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis:

  • Pain and tenderness on the thumb side of the wrist, near the base of the thumb.
  • Swelling or inflammation around the affected area.
  • Difficulty gripping or pinching objects, especially with the thumb and index finger.
  • Pain that worsens with thumb and wrist movement.
  • A “catching” or “snapping” sensation when moving the thumb.
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion in the thumb and wrist.
  • Pain that may radiate up the forearm or down towards the thumb.
  • Increased pain during activities that involve repetitive thumb or wrist movements.


These symptoms may vary in intensity from mild to severe, and they may worsen with continued use of the hand and wrist. 


Can you cure De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis without surgery?

Yes, in many cases, De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis can be treated successfully without surgery. Non-surgical treatments are usually the first line of management and can effectively alleviate the symptoms.


How Can Physiotherapy Help with De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?

Physiotherapy can be beneficial in the management of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis by addressing the underlying causes and helping to reduce pain, inflammation, and improve hand and wrist function. Here are some ways physiotherapy can help:

  • Pain management: Physiotherapists can use various techniques such as heat, ice, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation in the affected area.
  • Splinting and immobilization: They may recommend using a thumb spica splint or brace to immobilize the thumb and wrist, allowing the inflamed tendons to rest and heal.
  • Manual therapy: Physiotherapists can perform hands-on techniques to stretch and mobilize the affected tendons and surrounding tissues, promoting better movement and flexibility.
  • Therapeutic exercises: They will prescribe specific exercises to strengthen the muscles around the thumb and wrist, which can help stabilize the area and support healing.
  • Ergonomic advice: Physiotherapists can provide guidance on ergonomic modifications to reduce strain during daily activities and prevent aggravation of symptoms.
  • Activity modification: They can help identify and modify activities that may be exacerbating the condition, ensuring that the hand and wrist are not overused.
  • Education: Physiotherapists can educate patients about self-management techniques, including proper posture, stretching exercises, and ways to protect the wrist during daily tasks.


Overall, physiotherapy aims to improve the patient’s functional abilities, reduce pain, and promote healing. It is essential to consult with a qualified physiotherapist who can create a personalized treatment plan based on the individual’s specific needs and condition. Reach out to us today at 416-444-4800 or email reception@physiomobility.ca to schedule your appointment and embark on your journey towards a pain-free future.


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Virtual appointments are available and encouraged for those who are at a heightened risk of illness.

We remain focused on our quality of care & our continued commitment to helping our patients feel their best. For further assistance, you can contact us at 416-444-4800 during our opening hours. 

The Physiomobility Team