de quervain’s tenosynovitis
A common overuse injury that affects the tendons which run along the outside of your thumb.
What is De Quervain’s tenosynovitis?
When the sheath surrounding the two tendons controlling thumb movement becomes inflamed, this is called de Quervains tenosynovitis.
The tendons run from the wrist to the thumb. During muscle contraction such as gripping, tension is placed on the respective tendons and the tendons may rub against the bony prominence found on the part of the wrist where the thumb is; when these forces are excessive, damage to the tendons may occur resulting in De Quervain’s tenosynovitis.
What causes De Quervain’s tenosynovitis?
Repetitive or sustained activities that place strain on the tendons on the outer/back aspect of the hand can cause de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. These activities can include sports such as: golf, bowling, racquet sports, coning and rowing or manual work including bricklaying, painting and carpentry.
It is usual for you to develop this condition after a sudden increase in activities that place stress on the thumb tendons.
Occasionally it may develop suddenly due to a direct blow to the back of the thumb.
What symptoms does someone with De Quervain’s tenosynovitis present with?
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis symptoms usually develop slowly over time and at first they may develop as an ache or stiffness in the thumb or back of wrist after doing unaccustomed or aggravating activities.
Symptoms may be:
- Swelling over the area
- Pain when moving the thumb
- Pins and needles or numbness in the thumb
- Weakness in the wrist, thumb and hand
How can De Quervain’s tenosynovitis diagnosed?
Your physiotherapist can diagnose De Quervain’s tenosynovitis by carrying out a full subjective and objective examination.
A test called Finkelstein’s test can also diagnose if you have the condition. To do the test you place your thumb in the palm of your hand, make a first around it, and bend your wrist in the direction of your little finger- if this makes the pain worse than that is considered a positive test for De Quervain’s tenosynovitis.
What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for De Quervain’s tenosynovitis?
- Apply RICE principle initially
- Soft tissue massage
- Thumb bracing/splinting
- Joint mobilisation
- Ice/heat therapy
- Advice and education
- Flexibility and strength exercises
- Dry needling
- Activity/sporting modification advice
- Sporting technique correction
- Graded return to activity plan
- Anti-inflammatory advice
In rare cases, conservative treatment may not be effective and surgery is required. Physiotherapy is also beneficial post-surgery to ensure full range of movement and strength is maintained post-op.
Benefit of physiotherapy for De Quervain’s tenosynovitis?
Physiotherapy treatment can provide great results and our aim is to get you symptom free as quickly as possible. The benefits you receive from physiotherapy will depend on your initial symptoms and goals.
Physiotherapy aims to:
- Restore function
- Reduce pain
- Prevent re-injury occurring
- Improve flexibility and range of movement
Don't let pain win...
Our Expert Physiotherapists specialise in providing the latest in physiotherapy treatments and techniques in order to get you pain free as soon as possible, cure the cause of your pain and help you to return to pre-injury levels of activity.
Furthermore, we'll also give you a bespoke exercise and rehabilitation program, and advise you on how to prevent re-injury and remain pain free.
At Farrell Physiotherapy we work with some of the uk's top insurance companies to ensure you're covered.
We can accept payment from AXA (PPP), Bupa, PruHealth, simplyhealth and Standard Life, if you have any questions about alternative payment methods, please get in touch with us using the contact form at the bottom of the page and we'll get back to you asap!
I recently injured my Achilles Tendon and I was able to get immediate treatment from a very enthusiastic physiotherapist at ‘Farrell Physiotherapy’. I then had further regular treatment from Ben and continued with the follow-up exercises he gave me to do at home. I found Ben’s enthusiasm contagious and with the treatment and advice he gave me I have been able to get back to regular activity. I have been able to play 18 holes of competitive golf 4 days consecutively with there being no issues.
I was referred to Ben after a road traffic accident for pain in my neck. The service I received was excellent. He not only treated my neck pain but also helped me to correct my bad posture which was not aiding my recovery.
Ben is extremely friendly and gives a very professional service and I can’t thank him enough for resolving the problem. I would highly recommend him.
- Carol Joyce
I am an animal physiotherapist myself and can not recommend Ben more highly. He is the human physio I have been searching so long for!! There are very safe COVID procedures, and a great friendly and efficient environment. Ben makes you feel welcome, explains things perfectly and always ensures you're comfortable.
Most importantly Ben has enormously helped me with my knees. After having radiographs, an MRI, seeing a NHS and another private physio - none of them could help in that way that Ben did in 6 sessions and continues to do so. I have a long way to go but I have never had any faith that my goals are achievable but with Ben I now do - thank you!!
- Lauren Hunt
I have recently completed a course of treatment with Ben Farrell and am pleased to highly recommend him to others. I went to see Ben when I was suffering with extreme pain due to a trapped nerve in my neck which caused pain to radiate into my shoulder, arm and hand. I got an appointment very quickly and Ben was able to diagnose the problem and work on alleviating the pain. Part of the treatment has involved improving my longstanding poor posture which I’ve had since a child and believed was something that could not be changed. Ben has also advised me on how to continue to work on this to avoid this problem from reoccurring in the future.
- Judith Woosnam
I visited the practice on personal recommendation following a doctor’s diagnosis of an as then unspecified “shoulder injury”. I had seen my GP as the increasing pain in my arm and shoulder was not only preventing me from lifting my arm above 90%, but was also increasingly stopping me from sleeping at night.
After an initial diagnosis session where Ben Farrell had quickly identified the actual problem, I then undertook a course of hands on physiotherapy and an increasing program of exercise. In view of the complexity of the problem (which I was advised had been going on for far longer than I has know), the physiotherapy program was, therefore, pretty comprehensive, however, always with excellent support and guidance from Ben along the way.
I am very pleased with the results and I am now both playing much better golf and getting a full night’s sleep. And, I have no problems lifting my arm its full range!!!! So, the next thing on the agenda will be the golf game at Benton Hall.
Before visiting Ben I had been suffering from pain in my achillies tendons, which had stopped me from running my first half marathon. I had previously visited other physios local to me but had made no improvement. On my first visit ,Ben immediately diagnosed that my problem was coming from an old lower back injury. I was impressed that he was determined to treat the root cause of the injury (back) and provide a long term cure, and not just focus on a short term treatment of my achilles. Ben’s friendly but straight talking manner made my visits very enjoyable. I was so impressed that I took my 14 year old son to see Ben when he had an injury prior to a very important football trial. I would not hesitate to highly recommend Ben to anyone .
- Mike Smith
Couldn’t have asked for a better service than I got in just 4 weeks I spent with Mr Farrell.
My first appointment with Mr Farrell was 4 weeks prior to running the London marathon and I was in no fit state to be able to run it due to a knee injury. Mr Farrell gave me a number of exercises to completely daily and a handful of one on one sessions as well. He also advised me on picking a better pair of running shoes to support my foot shape and create less pain in my knee.
A combination of the hard work put in by Mr Farrell and myself I managed to complete the marathon in just over 4 hours. A great achieve considering I couldn’t run for 4 months prior to the race due to my knee. My only regret was not going to see Mr Farrell earlier! Then I may have be able to probably train for it. Would highly recommend Mr Farrell to anyone, a very professional service and great results.
- Fraser Murray
One of the main things I learnt when you treated me was your ability to dispel some of the old chestnuts about joint pain. Through your physiotherapy and advice I now walk more and cycle a lot. I do not rest up when I have a flair up, I do the maximum exercise I can without causing to great a discomfort to my joints. I avoid Painkillers if at all possible.
I can honestly say that you have helped me to take a new outlook on life. Thank you.
Ben Farrell was very thorough and professional when I went to him for treatment on my tennis elbow. He treated my posture as well as the elbow. The exercises he taught me both enabled the pain to go away and stay away, thus doing himself out of work! He and all his staff were very pleasant and friendly and I would recommend him unreservedly.
- Shane Murphy
Ben is an excellent physiotherapist who provided a considered care plan that enabled me to achieve my goals. Ben in his unique professional and personable manner demonstrated judgement and considerable experience to assist my recovery
After suffering persistent shoulder pain for several months I went to Farrell Physiotherapy on the recommendation of my husband.
After only a short course of treatment and undertaking daily exercises I am now pain free.
I would gladly recommend Farrell Physiotherapy to any person requiring physiotherapy treatment.
- C Wiltshire
I received excellent treatment for a foot and knee complaint that I thought would need an operation. It was very debilitating. However, after my course of physiotherapy sessions and continuation of exercises to do at home, I am now pain free and back to my normal exercise routine at the gym.
- C Dobinson
Little Waltham Road,
Spinks Ln, Witham,
Essex, CM8 1EP