De Quervain’s is a condition that makes thumb and wrist movements painful. The thumb side of the wrist can be swollen and very tender. As the affected tendons cross the wrist they pass through a tunnel, this can become thickened from inflammation and cause pain as the tendons pass through on movement. This can be caused by repetitive jobs or tasks, a new hobby, previous trauma, or it may gradually appear with no remarkable cause.
The aim of therapy is to reduce the pain, this is done by resting the tendons involved and the joints they cross.
De Quervain’s Therapy
Therapy A thermoplastic splint is worn full time for approximately four to six weeks. The splint can be removed for showering.
Gentle exercises can be performed.
Exercises should not be completed if painful and should be performed gently.
Exercises will be provided by therapist depending on symptoms and recovery.
Once the pain and inflammation is settled, activities that you know are aggravating should be completed less often, be modified or be avoided.
A soft splint can be worn for activities that are known to cause problems and can’t be avoided. Dynamic taping is also helpful to transition out of the supportive splint.
If conservative management does not help relieve symptoms you may be referred back to your doctor. A corticosteroid injection or surgery may be considered.
Babies & De Quervain’s: see additional handout on ideas for parents and carers for ways to reduce and manage De Quervain’s symptoms.