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De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

What is De Quervain's Tenosynovitis?

De Quervain's tenosynovitis is inflammation of the tendons on the thumb and affects mainly the abductor pollicis longus muscle (APL) and the extensor pollicis brevis muscle (EPB).

The two muscles are passing through a narrow tunnel near the end of the radius bone and the tunnel helps to hold the tendons in place. The tunnel is lined with a slippery coating called tenosynovium.

The tenosynovium is a slippery covering that allows the tendons to move smoothly as they facilitate thumb's movement. Swelling of the tenosynovium and the tendons is called tenosynovitis.

What causes De Quervain's tenosynovitis?

  • De Quervain's tenosynovitis is quite common and the main cause is repetitive movements of your thumb and wrist. Activities like golf, tennis, and activities by musicians, office workers who type all day long and people that use their mobiles are prone to De Quervain's tenosynovitis.

  • An other cause could be repetitive lifting of something relatively heavy. Mothers of newborns who are repeatedly lifting their baby is a good example.

  • Pre-existing conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes can cause swelling, fluid retention and thickening on the tunnel where your thumb's tendons are passing. Neuropathy, vascular problems and connective tissue disorders in patients may lead to increased musculoskeletal disorders included De Quervain's tenosynovitis.

DE QUERVAIN'S  TENOSYNOVITIS treatment in Manchester City Centre

What are the symptoms of De Quervain's tenosynovitis?

The symptoms of De Quervain's tenosynovitis include:

  • Pain and tenderness at the side of the wrist just above your thumb.

  • Swelling of the site of pain

  • Clicking and snapping of the tendons on the affected area

  • Reduced range of movement on the thumb

Did you know?

  • Estimated prevalence in men is 0,5% and 1,3% in women

  • It is most common in people in their 40s and 50s

  • Most commonly found in people who had pre-existing problems with their elbows

  • Child care providers and new-born mothers experience symptoms bilateral (both sides)

Physiotherapy for De Quervain's tenosynovitis

Our highly specialised physiotherapists at Physio Pattern Manchester will thoroughly assess and identify the cause of your thumb's pain and they will provide an individualised exercise program and a treatment plan to ensure a speedy recovery with long term results and no recurrence.

Physio Pattern Manchester is going to use some of the modalities below as assessment and treatment tools (click on the links below for more information).

If you would like more information of how Physio Pattern Manchester can help with this condition, or to book an assessment please call


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