WHAT IS IT? DE QUERVAIN’S DISEASE
De Quervain’s involves thickening of the synovial sheath that surrounds the tendons of the wrist and thumb. The tendons become strangled due to compression from the synovial sheath.
It is also referred to as ‘Hoffman’s disease’.
Signs & Symptoms
Pain on the radial side of the wrist
Aggravated by the movements of thumb extension and thumb abduction
What Causes It?
Overuse (work, gardening, sport)
Radial side dominated sports such as rowing, kayaking, and racquet sports
How to Self Manage
Implement R.I.C.E. protocol
Identify and rest from aggravating activities
Cortisone and anaesthetic injection may be useful.
If conservative management fails surgery to release the tendons may be required.
How Physio Helps
Assess if your condition is de Quervain’s
Organise a splint to immobilise the thumb and reduce aggravation of the tendons
Use manual treatment including deep transverse frictions with the tendon on stretch to release any adhesions
Prescribe stretches and strengthening specific to your problem
Review possible stressors, and organise ergonomic aids such as a built-up pen grip to offload the tendons