De Quervain's tenosynovitis is a painful wrist condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. With repeated movements, the tendons that move the thumb become constricted in a tight tunnel, creating pressure on nerves, which leads to pain and numbness.
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis causes wrist pain which might develop gradually or appear suddenly. The main symptom is pain or tenderness over the wrist joint near the base of the thumb, which may also radiate up the forearm.
Other symptoms include:
It’s best to speak to a doctor if you experience persistent pain with little or no relief from rest, using a cold compress or anti-inflammatory medication.
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is usually caused by chronic overuse of the wrist from daily repetitive movements.
It’s a common affliction among mothers from activities such as cradling an infant while nursing, lifting a child into a high chair or car seat, or carrying heavy bags of groceries.
The risk factors for De Quervain’s tenosynovitis include:
When De Quervain's tenosynovitis is left untreated, the pain may spread and radiate into the forearm. The pain may also become more intense while performing simple tasks which involve the use of the thumb, such as pinching or grasping.
Over time, it will become difficult to use your hand. You will likely experience increasingly limited range of wrist motion.