Sunday, May 28, 2023

Pain In The Thumb And Wrist

Treatment For De Quervains Thumb And Wrist Pain Without Surgery

Thumb & Wrist Pain (CMC Joint) Easy Self-Treatment for Pain-Free Daily Activities

You may be able to recover from De Quervains tenosynovitis with home treatment. Changing your activity, resting the sore thumb joint, and treating thumb tendonitis with anti-inflammatory medications and heat or ice can improve the pain in a few weeks.

Depending on your injury, you may need additional treatment like:

  • Splints: A special splint called a thumb spica splint can support your wrist and thumb so they can heal.
  • Pain management: We use non-narcotic medications and integrative care like acupuncture to manage pain so you can heal. Find out more about orthopedic pain we treat.
  • Steroid injections: Injected medications can deliver pain relief or lubrication directly to the inflamed area. Learn more about injections for joint pain.

Examples Of Helpful Gadgets And Adapted Devices

Pouring Devices

Adapted Handles

Using pipe lagging or gripoball on handles can increase the surface area of an object making it easier to grip.

Alternatively OXO do a range of utensils with large rubber handles.

Stockists include: Dunelm Mill, Homesense, Lakeland


Easy Pull Plug Removal Aid


Bamboo knitting needles

Whether youre right or left handed knit any stitch with complete freedom and support. Use your needles, Ease painful joints, Use one handed.


Innovative fastenings make dressing easier for those who may suffer from restricted movement or lack of finger dexterity


The angled handle of these tools keeps your hand and wrist in a natural position, making cutting and grating smooth and simple. Despite being stainless steel they are very lightweight which is ideal for someone who has very weak hands. The soft-feel black grip on the handle of the kitchen tools is non-slip making them safer to use with wet or greasy hands. The green soft-feel grip on the garden tools has a non-slip waterproof finish making the tools easy to grip even if you have wet hands.

Opening Devices

The JarKey is a jar opener that opens jars, not by twisting the lid, but by lifting the edge of it, so that the vacuum inside is released. When the vacuum is released, it is easy to unscrew the lid. Jarkey

This One Touch product works as a tin and jar opener.

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Causes Of Pain In The Thumb And Wrist

Thumb and wrist pain can significantly interfere with your daily activities. The bones, joints, ligaments and tendons in the thumb and wrist can all suffer injury or inflammation that leads to pain. Overuse and repetitive motion injuries, sports-related accidents, falls and aging are among the culprits that cause thumb and wrist pain. As treatment depends on the underlying cause of your pain, see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

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Schedule A Consultation To Treat Thumb Pain

If you are experiencing recurrent pain in your thumb, that limits your daily activities or otherwise affects your life, we can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our hand and wrist specialists. We are dedicated to helping each patient live their best, pain-free life.

1 Mayo Clinic. Thumb arthritis. Available: . Accessed October 6, 2021.2 Mayo Clinic. De Quervains tenosynovitis. Available: . Accessed October 6, 2021.

Surgery For De Quervains Tenosynovitis

Bilateral Thumb &  Wrist Brace by MDUB

If noninvasive treatment doesnt improve your symptoms, or if the condition is severe, you may need thumb surgery to relieve De Quervains tenosynovitis.

Your surgeon will open the thumb compartment to give the irritated tendons more space to move. When the tunnel heals, it will leave more room for the tendons. The surgery is brief, but full recovery takes several months.

Well recommend hand therapy or occupational therapy after surgery to regain your thumb function and learn healthy ways of using your hand. Learn more about orthopedic physical therapy.

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Focus On De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

Senior Care Consultant Pharmacist andPresident of MZ Associates,

US Pharm.

Musculoskeletal conditions are the most frequent cause of physical disability in the developed world.1 These pain-associated conditions are comprised of more than 150 various diseases and syndromes and are extremely common.1 The burden caused by these conditions is predicted to further increase with the aging of baby boomers. In the next 25 years, it is expected that the number of geriatric patients with arthritis will double to 41 million, and osteoarthritis is expected to be the fourth leading cause of disability by 2020.2,3 But arthritis does not always present as an isolated condition, and clinical signs and symptoms may overlap with other musculoskeletal disorders and comorbidities.

Scientists believe it is through research that clinicians can better understand significant chronic conditions that alter the lives of many seniors.2 The researchers stress that the fast-growing geriatric population will require additional clinical study and greater intervention in order to delay or prevent an enormous burden of disability among the elderly related to very common musculoskeletal conditions of aging.2 This article will address tendonitis and tenosynovitis, and will focus on de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, also referred to as de Quervain’s syndrome. Concise overviews of osteoarthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome in the elderly may be found in the literature.5,6

Broken Or Fractured Thumb

In some cases, a bone within the thumb may break. These injuries cause intense pain that starts at the site of the damaged bone and can radiate through the wrist and forearm.

The bone from the tip of the thumb to the knuckle is known as the distal phalange. This connects to the proximal phalange, which extends to the base of the thumb. Within the hand, the proximal phalange connects to the first metacarpal, which extends to the base of the hand.

Depending on the type of thumb fracture and its location, the thumb may also become unstable. It may move loosely from side to side.

When it occurs

Bones in the thumb may break due to impact injuries or excessive stress. Common causes include:

  • falling and landing onto the thumb
  • bending the thumb too far back
  • twist the thumb excessively
  • blunt trauma to the thumb


If the bone fragments remain close to the break, a temporary cast may be enough to hold the fragments in place. A broken thumb may heal within 28 weeks. However, it may take longer after surgery or if the bone fragments have not shifted much from their normal positions.

During this time, a person may require regular X-rays to check that the bones remain properly aligned.

If the bone fragments have drifted far from the break, a person may require surgery to realign the fragments. A surgeon may use wire, pins, or screws to hold the fragments together while the bone heals.

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How Is De Quervains Tenosynovitis Diagnosed

To diagnose de Quervains tenosynovitis, your doctor may do a simple test. It is called the Finkelstein test. First, you bend your thumb so it rests across your palm. Then you make a fist, closing your fingers over your thumb. Last, you bend your wrist toward your little finger. If you have tenderness or pain at the base of your thumb, you probably have de Quervains tenosynovitis.

Other tests such as X-rays usually arent needed to diagnose the condition.

What To Do About De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Aka Mommy Thumb

Thumb/Wrist Pain Relief: How to Fix de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis (Texting Thumb)

By Michael Hwang, MD, orthopedics and sports medicine

Follow the outer edge of your thumb down past the knuckles to where it meets your wrist, and youll land in a spot that is a common cause of pain for many adults. This is where two tendons that run along the thumb side of the wrist pass through a narrow tunnel to connect to the base of the thumb. These tendons help you grip, grasp and pinch with your hand, but if the tunnel becomes inflamed, the tendons can become pinched and inflamed themselves. The result is a painful condition known as De Quervains tenosynovitis.

I see this condition regularly in my practice. Its most common in people aged 30-50, and especially in women, who outnumber male patients by about six to one. Those most likely to get it are people who overuse these tendons through repetitive activities, such as gardening, playing tennis, or lifting and carrying a new baby. Among new mothers, in fact, De Quervains is so common that its often referred to as mommy thumb.

Relieving the pain of De Quervains

For pain relief, bracing and anti-inflammatories are good places to start. Using topical or oral anti-inflammatories will relieve pain and inflammation, and immobilizing the wrist and thumb in a brace will give the tendons a rest. These measures may be all you need for notable improvement over the course of three to four weeks.

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Experiencing Pain Opening Jars

A common frustration our hand and upper extremity specialists address is an increased weakening in gripping or pinching objects. Simple tasks, such as opening jars or turning doorknobs, can become painful and uncomfortable. Symptoms in the hand can also include sharp or burning pain when gripping or pinching, along with swelling, stiffness, and limited motion at the base of the thumb. So what is the cause of this frustrating pain getting in the way of completing everyday activities with ease?


According to Dr. David Holt, hand and upper extremity specialist at The Center, these symptoms are caused by arthritis in the joint at the base of the thumb. Also known as carpalmetacarpal , the joint at the base of the thumb is experiencing breakdown of cartilage resulting in bone on bone friction. Unfortunately, once cartilage has broken down in our joints, it cannot be built back up again. Arthritis is a progressive, degenerative disease, and the condition may worsen over time. There are, however, a few things that can be done to help relieve pain so that the arthritis does not interfere with life as much.



If these treatments are not working, surgery may provide pain relief and/or improved function. Speak with a hand specialist who can work with you to create the best treatment plan.

Learn about conservative treatment options and the surgical procedure called a carpalmetacarpal arthroplasty in this video.

Avoid Tasks That Make The Pain Worse

Try to avoid tasks that are causing the pain or making it worse. This may be anything that has a repetitive nature, such as using a screwdriver, painting or lifting heavy objects. You might be able to change the way you do some tasks to take the strain off your hands and wrists. Some conditions affecting the hand and wrist wont get better until you stop doing certain tasks.

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Things You Can Do To Avoid Making The Pain Worse

Managing your pain is the best way to treat thumb and wrist pain and will help you recover quicker.

You should do things to try and ensure your pain does not get worse.

Things you could do are:

  • change how you move your hand and wrist until symptoms begin to ease
  • scoop your baby up with your sore hand under their bottom â this can be more comfortable
  • keep your wrist rigid â this avoids pain irritation
  • avoid wrist movements like opening the lid on a jar that is quite tight
  • avoid using your thumb to grip objects

Will I Need Surgery For De Quervains Tenosynovitis

Ask the Yoga Therapist: Thumbs up for thumb arthritis!

You might need surgery if your case is severe or if other treatments dont relieve your pain. During outpatient surgery, the surgeon makes a small cut in the sheath around the swollen tendons. This provides more room for the tendons to move.

After surgery, you will need to do physical therapy to strengthen your wrist and thumb. This will help keep the problem from coming back. Once the area has healed and returned to full strength, you should have normal use of your hand.

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What Causes De Quervains Tenosynovitis

The most common cause of de Quervains tenosynovitis is chronic overuse of the wrist. Repetitive movements day after day cause irritation and pain. One common movement that causes it is lifting a child into a car seat. Another is lifting heavy grocery bags by the handles. Other causes could include a direct injury to the wrist or inflammatory arthritis.

You are more likely to develop de Quervains tenosynovitis if:

  • You are a woman
  • You are 40 years of age or older
  • Your hobby or job involves repetitive hand and wrist motions. This is a very common cause
  • You have injured your wrist. Scar tissue can restrict the movement of your tendons
  • You are pregnant. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause it.
  • You have arthritisarthritis.

How Is Thumb Arthritis Diagnosed

To make a diagnosis of thumb arthritis, your doctor will start by gathering your medical history, discussing symptoms, prior injuries, and what activities cause you pain.

For the physical examination, your doctor will hold the basal joint while rocking your thumb back and forth, Dr. Luo says. If that causes pain or a grinding sound, it means the bones are rubbing directly against each other and likely have thumb arthritis. An X-ray can confirm the diagnosis.

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What Are The Symptoms Of De Quervains Tendinosis

Symptoms of de Quervains tendinosis can include:

  • Pain and tenderness along the side of the wrist on the thumb side.
  • Pain that gets worse as you use the hand and thumb.
  • Pain that appears suddenly or develops over time.
  • Pain that travels into the thumb or from the wrist to the lower arm .
  • Pain or difficulty when moving the thumb, especially when grasping or pinching objects.
  • Feeling snapping or popping sensation in the wrist when moving the thumb.

Basal Joint Or Rheumatoid Arthritis

Solutions for Thumb and Wrist Pain

The cushion-like cartilage inside your thumb joint can break down as you age, causing the symptoms of thumb arthritis. Other symptoms include loss of grip strength and thumb mobility.

Thumb arthritis can be related toosteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis . Thumb pain at your thumb joint caused by arthritis can feel like burning, stabbing, or a more subtle creaking pain.

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Keeping Your Hands And Wrists Moving

Moving your hands, wrists and fingers as much as possible can help ease pain and stiffness. This will also maintain range of movement, function and strength.

We have some exercises you can do at home. Try to do them as regularly as you can, especially if your hands and wrists are feeling stiff.

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, talk to a physiotherapist, GP or hand therapist for specific advice on exercise.

What Are The Symptoms Of Thumb Arthritis

Pain in the thumb is the most common symptom of thumb arthritis. You might feel pain when you are pinching or gripping objects, Dr. Luo says. You may also notice a little bump at the base of your thumb, he adds, explaining that this would be a bone spur, or a projection that develops along joints as a result of inflammation, including osteoarthritis.

Other symptoms may include the following:

  • Swelling and tenderness at the base of the thumb
  • An ache after prolonged use of the thumb
  • Loss of strength when gripping or pinching with your thumb

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What Exercises Are Recommended For De Quervains Tenosynovitis

Strengthening exercises5 have been shown to speed up the healing process and reduce your symptoms. Follow the exercise routine suggested by your doctor or physical therapist. Be sure to tell him or her about any activities that cause pain, numbness, or swelling.

  • Only stretch to where you feel comfortable
  • Dont force any of the positions
  • Keep movements even, slow, and smooth
  • Avoid any jerky movements

What Is The Treatment For Pain In Wrist And Thumb

Thumb Arthritis

Wrist and thumb are one of the most often used joints and can take time to heal if not given proper rest. In most causes of wrist and thumb pain, the treatment includes resting the wrist joint and the thumb, with a splint or a bandage, depending on the severity, for around 4 to 6 weeks or until it is healed.

Anti-inflammatory medications, pain relieving medicines, ointment and treatment to fight infections, arthritis or other conditions, depending on the cause may be given for wrist and thumb pain. Supplements of calcium, vitamin D and multi vitamins may be considered.

Physical therapy for pain in the wrist and thumb may include hot and cold compresses, wearing wrist and thumb braces for minor sprains, limiting and modifying activities to relieve pressure and reduce pain. Exercises to help strengthening of the supporting muscles may be advised by a trained physical therapist to improve functioning and flexibility of muscles and tissues.

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Here Are The Top Three Culprits And What You Can Do To Put A Stop To The Pain

Ever find yourself pausing to rub the achiness out of your wrists? Or maybe hurting hands are disrupting your daily activities. Hand and wrist pain is more common than ever, thanks to the prevalence of smartphones and computer use at work. But how do you know if your pain is caused by a condition like carpal tunnel syndrome? Many of the most common hand and wrist conditions share the same symptoms, but they have very different causes, says Geisinger hand surgeon Joel Klena, MD. They can originate in the muscle or the joint, and can be a result of genetics, general overuse or sudden impact.

Read on for the top three causes of hand and wrist pain and common ways to treat them:

Break Sprain Or Injury

An injury resulting in damage to the ligaments in your thumb can cause thumb sprains, skiers thumb, or a jammed thumb. Typically caused during falls or contact sports, this type of injury often creates localized pain at the thumb joint, as well as stiffness, and swelling. Your thumb may also be in pain if its broken. If the thumb is broken, its common to experience an intense radiating pain from the location of the fracture.

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