De Quervain’s wrist pain is a painful condition that affects the thumb tendons at the wrist. The pain usually comes on gradually and gets ignored until simple, everyday tasks like taking lids off jars, texting, gardening, or shaking hands become very painful. For many people, even touching or bumping the wrist or thumb can cause excruciating pain.
The pain can be very sharp and sudden and there may be a “stuck” feeling at the base of the thumb. Some people do develop swelling in the wrist at the base of the thumb.
De Quervain’s syndrome is considered an RSI or 'repetitive strain injury', hence the reason it often affects people that use their hands to grip and grasp objects on a repetitive basis.
When in good health, the tendons at the base of the thumb should glide smoothly through a tube called a tendon sheath. Overuse from constant gripping and squeezing objects and the consequent repetitive sliding of the tendon through the sheath can cause the sheath itself to become irritated and swollen.
This irritation of the tendon sheath can cause pain and make it difficult to complete simple tasks like opening a jar, holding a golf club, shaking hands and texting. When the tendon and sheath very swollen and irriated even touching or bumping the wrist or thumb can cause excruciating pain.
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Registered Acupuncturist & Herbalist