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It is a form of tendinitis in which the coverings of the tendons that lead from the wrist to the thumb become irritated and cause tenderness and pain in the area. The repetitive action of typing can bring it on, as can activities that involve the gripping of tools – even playing golf.

Common Myths

If you suffer from tendonitis, you are likely the recipient of a lot of bad information — not the least of it from your doctor.

This NSAID/rest/cortisone dogma has been repeated to the point that it has assumed the status of fact in everyday life. Unfortunately, tendinopathy resulting from (a) overuse and (b) incorrect patterns of motion generally fails to resolve itself when subjected to treatment regimens that are designed to relieve inflammation.

A tennis player does not experience “tennis elbow” because inflammation suddenly decided to inflict itself upon the athlete’s arm; rather, it is the result of thousands of hours repeating a particular motion with a tennis racket. A bass guitar player suffering from de Quervain’s Syndrome, a bodybuilder whose biceps hurts the list of examples is virtually endless, and in every case the culprit is clearly excessive use of a body part (often coupled with incorrect movement patterns of one type or another).

While anyone can get de Quervain’s, it affects women eight to 10 times more often than men.

The Finkelstein test is conducted by making a fist with the fingers closed over the thumb and the wrist is bent toward the little finger.

The Finkelstein test can be quite painful for the person with De Quervain’s tendinitis.

Tenderness directly over the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist is a common finding with this test.

De Quervain’s disease is more likely to occur in women than men and between the ages of 30 and 50 years but anyone at any age can get it. Pregnant women or people with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to get the disease.

Treatment usually involves wearing a splint 24 hours a day for four to six weeks to immobilize the affected area and refraining from any activities that may aggravate the condition.

Dos & Don'ts

Thumb pressure in pushing controls or while typing should also be avoided.

Comprehensive Hand and Wrist Pain Solutions

At Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab, Inc., we are the leaders in the community since 1983. As experts who combine hands on treatment with exercise and education, we relieve pain and restore motion, strength and activity level. Your Recovery is Our Expertise! We guarantee The Best Therapy Experience by providing one-on-one care and a customized treatment plan designed to your specific needs.


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