Thumb tendonitis or also known as De Quervain’s Syndrome is becoming more and more prevalent nowadays. With the invention of computers and now smartphones, we use our hands a lot more than we ever did. This caused an increase in overuse injuries of the hands. Pain in the thumb caused by tendonitis is very common. Numerous studies have shown increase in prevalence of thumb tendonitis because of texting and smartphone use. This is why I am writing this article on the best home treatment for thumb tendonitis or also known as De Quervain’s Syndrome.
What is De Quervain’s Syndrome?
De Quervain’s Syndrome is a condition characterized by pain at the base of the thumb. Pain occurs when the tendons around the base of the thumb gets irritated and inflamed. The swelling that occurs with the inflammation can also cause numbness when it presses on the nerve that passes near it. It is found that it affects women more than men.
Common Causes of Thumb Tendonitis or De Quervain’s Syndrome
- Overuse from texting, typing or gaming
- Trauma to the area
- Repetitive gripping such as work or sports
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Pain on the thumb side of the wrist or base of the thumb. The pain can travel up the forearm especially when the thumb or hand is in use such as when gripping or twisting
- Swelling on the thumb side of the wrist or base of the thumb
- A catching or snapping sensation when moving the thumb
- Difficulty moving the thumb and the wrist caused by the pain and swelling
Home Treatment for Thumb Tendonitis or De Quervain’s Syndrome
Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy are very effective in treating De Quervain’s syndrome. To decrease the inflammation of the tendons, avoid repetitive movement of the thumb and gripping movements as much as possible. A splint can be used to rest the tendons. Apply ice to help reduce the inflammation faster. Here are some exercises you can do. Videos of some of these exercises can be found at our website RestorePlusNY.com.
- Wrist extension stretch – with the affected wrist straight in front of you facing palm down, place the unaffected hand on the palm of the affected hand and push it gently upwards to stretch the wrist. Hold it for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times.
- Wrist flexion stretch – with the affected wrist straight in front of you facing palm down, place the unaffected hand on the back of the palm of the affected hand and gently push it down to stretch the wrist. Hold it for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times.
- Wrist pronation/supination – while holding a can or small bottle, gently rotate the wrist facing palm up and palm down. Repeat this for 15 times.
- Thumb flexion stretch – with the fingers of the affected hand straight, use the unaffected hand to gently bend the affected thumb into your palm to stretch the tendon on the back of the thumb. Hold this for 20 seconds and repeat 3 times.
- Place your affected hand on the table with palm facing down. Gently move your thumb away from the other fingers. Repeat this for 15 times.
- Place your affected hand on the table with palm facing down. Gently move your thumb away from the table. Repeat for 15 times.
Treatment for Thumb Tendonitis or De Quervain’s Syndrome
If the above home remedies are not enough to relieve your thumb pain, Don’t Worry! We can design a specialized program that has shown great results at relieving your pain quickly. This program can consist of using different modalities including the revolutionary Laser treatment, manual therapy techniques and exercises. Call Restore Plus TODAY for more information or to schedule an appointment! (800) 905-0513.
Restore Plus Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
33-10 Queens Blvd. Suite 301
Long Island City, NY 11101