De Quervain’s Tendonitis
De Quervain’s Tendonitis is an overuse injury like many other tendon injuries. Continuous gripping, pinching, squeezing or wringing motions can lead to this condition. Pain in the thumb and wrist, over the radius, especially during use, is common with this injury. This syndrome is more common in women than in men.
Physiotherapy Treatment for De Quervain’s Tendonitis
In acute stage:
- R.I.C.E Regime is beneficial in the first 72 hours of the injury or when inflammatory signs are present. This involves resting from aggravating activities, regular icing, the use of a compression bandage and keeping the arm elevated
- Provide a variety of hand splints to support the thumb and the wrist
- Help identify aggravating activities and suggest alternative postures
- Soft Tissue Massage
- Advice for activity modification
In chronic stage:
- Heat Therapy
- Sensory evaluation
- Range of motion exercises
- Strength Exercises
- Ergonomic workstation assessment as needed
- Education to either avoid or decrease repetitive hand motions, such as pinching, wringing, turning, twisting or grasping
- A home-exercise program
Most cases of De Quervains tendonitis settle well with appropriate physiotherapy. The success rate of treatment is largely dictated by patient compliance. Physiotherapy also may be indicated for individuals who have undergone surgery. Once the patient has recovered, the goals of therapy are to strengthen and regain range of motion at the thumb, hand, and wrist.
Immediate, appropriate treatment is essential to ensure a speedy recovery. Once the condition is chronic, healing slows significantly resulting in markedly increased recovery times and an increased likelihood of future recurrence.