de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

a.k.a mummy thumb is a painful inflammatory [inflammation – a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection] condition that affects the muscles on the side of the wrist just at the base of the thumb. It could be one-sided or affect both wrists at the same time.

It is also called mummy thumb because it was somewhat common to new moms. It is majorly caused by an injury to the tendons of the muscles of the thumb/wrist, from overuse, improper use,  direct trauma or inflammatory arthritis

To diagnose it, a test called Finkelstein is done. [see image below]

Following an assessment by your physiotherapist, he/she will plan a treatment session with the following aims

  1. reduce pain / eliminate completely
  2. improve function at the joint
  3. educate on proper hand positioning in activities of daily living
  4. improve the soft-tissue physiologic state

Modalities of treatment may include all or some of the following

  1. exercises – active and passive range of motion
  2. isometric exercises if it is acute [symptom is between 1 – 3 days]
  3. thermal modalities – ice packs or hot packs
  4. electrotherapy – ultrasound, TENS
  5. massage
  6. apply topical NSAIDs [non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs]
  7. acupuncture
  8. stretches
  9. splinting {spica}




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