You are currently viewing De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Thumb Pain & Painful Wrist

Treatment For Thumb Pain And Wrist Pain Caused By De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis 

Get the best De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis treatment in Malaysia for your painful wrist and thumb pain at CSC today. De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is the leading cause of thumb pain, wrist pain, and difficulty moving the thumb.

De Quervain’s results in swelling of fluid-filled sheaths (the synovium) surrounding the abductor pollicis longus or the extensor pollicis brevis tendons. Learn signs, symptoms, causes, home remedies, and treatment options for lasting relief.

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Common Cause of Thumb Pain & Wrist Pain

ANatomical illustration of tendons involved in de Quervain's tenosynovitis

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a form of tendonitis caused by swelling (inflammation) of the tendons, the synovium, or the tendon sheaths. The fluid-filled sheaths surrounding the thumb’s tendons known as the synovium. The synovium is a protective sheath that covers tendons. The synovium produces synovial fluids to lubricate tendons. Repetitive motions or injury can damage the synovium (covering protective sheaths of the tendon), damaging the synovium and causing it to malfunction. 


De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is named after Fritz de Quervain, a Swiss surgeon who identified it in 1895. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is an inflammatory condition impacting the synovium of the abductor pollicis longus or the extensor pollicis brevis––located between the thumb and the wrist. An individual with de Quervain’s tenosynovitis feels pain when they move their thumb. They may also experience discomfort when grabbing objects, clenching, or turning (twitting) their wrist.


De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a particular form of tendonitis. It occurs when the tendons surrounding your thumb become thick and swollen, applying pressure on adjacent nerves. Inflamed and damaged tendons, synovium, or damaged tendon sheaths, in turn, results in pain and numbness. The good news is that you don’t need medication, steroid injections, or surgery to recover. Chiropractic Specialty Center® (CSC) offers the best alternative to invasive procedures through holistic treatments that repair and reverse the damaged tendons fast. 

What Is Tendonitis?

Tendons are connective tissues that connect muscles to bones. They contain collagen fibers and transmit mechanical force during muscle contractions. These tissues are responsible for initiating movement when they pull bones.


Muscles are attached to bones by tendons, which can be described as thick cords, in simpler terms. Irritation or inflammation of tendons leads to a condition referred to as tendonitis (tendinitis). There are many causes of tendonitis, including severe physical injuries in the affected area and minor but repetitive actions or infections. 

What Is The Difference Between Tendonitis & Tenosynovitis?

Tendonitis or tendinitis is a condition where the fibrous cords of your tendons are damaged and inflamed. As mentioned, tenosynovitis is of the tendon’s protective covering (synovium). However, both can co-occur. In other words, you can have tendonitis with tenosynovitis and visa-versa. Tenosynovitis and tendonitis are interlinked, one leading to the other. The etiology of progression from one form to the other is still unknown.

Here is a list of the most common tenosynovitis conditions:

  1. de Quervain tenosynovitis
  2. Tigger finger
  3. Trigger thumb
  4. Seen with some forms of carpal tunnel syndrome

Tendonitis (tendinitis) can occur anywhere where there are tendons. The five most common tendonitis conditions include:

  1. Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
  2. Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis)
  3. Rotator cuff tendonitis
  4. Achilles tendonitis
  5. Tendonitis of the knee (pes anserinus tendinitis)

Is De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Or Tendonitis Dangerous?

All forms of tendonitis and tenosynovitis, including the de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, are dangerous! These are inflammatory processes and, if neglected, can lead to degeneration of tendons and eventual tendinous raptures, requiring surgical intervention. A surgically repaired tendon will always be a weak tendon predisposed to repeated tears. In other words, once they are damaged, they will never be perfect with surgery. Therefore, it becomes imperative to get help as soon as you notice any signs or symptoms of tendonitis or tenosynovitis (.de Quervain’s). 

Causes Of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

The causes of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis in many cases remain unknown. Some relate it to the presence of tendonitis, but it can occur as a standalone condition. The condition is linked chiefly to chronic overuse of the wrist. Repetitive movements occurring on a day-to-day basis can lead to pain and irritation. 

Carrying grocery shopping using bag handles or lifting your baby are some movements that can lead to this condition. A common cause is playing games on handheld devices such as phones and pads. Also, direct wrist injury can result in de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. In addition, it can also be caused by inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis, gaming, and hobbies such as racket sports or golfing.

People over the age of 30 and women, especially those who are pregnant, face a higher risk of developing this painful condition. No one is immune to this condition. Anyone can get de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. However, you are more likely to develop this inflammatory condition if:

  • If you have arthritis (degenerative and rheumatoid arthritis) or other inflammatory diseases
  • It can result as a side-effect of certain medications, including statins and antibiotics.
  • More common in women
  • You are aged between 30 to 50 years. This age group has a higher likelihood of developing this condition than children or seniors.
  • You are pregnant.
  • New mothers and those working in centers that take care of infants. 
  • Your job or hobby requires recurring hand, thumb, and wrist movements.
  • Congenital anomalies in anatomy of the adductor pollicis and extensor pollicis brevis are known causes of de Quervain’s.

This painful sensation is bound to spread to surrounding areas without proper treatment, making it increasingly thumb and wrist movements difficult. 

How Is de Quervain’s Diagnosed?

CSC’s chiropractor’s test for this condition with a physical assessment of the thumb and wrist joint of the involved side. They will apply gentle pressure along the sides of your thumb and wrist to see if it causes pain. Next, they may perform Finklestein’s test. Imagining or diagnostic tests are not needed for a de Quervain’s. 


The Finkelstein test is one of the simplest methods CSC uses to diagnose thumb tendonitis (tenosynovitis). Our chiropractor will ask you to place your thumb across your palm, close the other fingers over it – making a fist. Then they will ask you to bend your wrist downwards towards the pinkie finger. Patients with De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis will experience discomfort, tenderness, or pain just below the base of the thumb as they flex their wrist downwards. You can use the same method at home to see if your thumb or wrist pain is due to de Quervain’s.

What Is The Best Home Remedy For de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis?

Reducing wrist pain, thumb pain, inflammation and swelling, maintaining thumb movement, and averting recurrence are the main objectives of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis treatment. You can get ahead of your symptoms by starting treatment early. The best home remedy is icing and bracing. Icing the wrist is the essential first step. The best method of icing your thumb or wrist is with underwater icing methods.


Grab a pot large enough to fit your hand and wrist. Fill it in with cold water. You may need to put a few ice cubes, but make sure it is not freezing. It should be as cool as a nice refrigerated drink. Once ready, submerge your hand and wrist fully underwater for 15-minutes. If the water is too cold, it will be uncomfortable. And if it becomes unformattable, add in some warm water. The aim is to keep your hand and wrist submerged for 15-minutes continuously. You will need to repeat this every three hours. Also, you will need a thumb brace. You can buy these from us or at a nearby pharmacy. Make sure that the brace is specific for de Quervain’s. Wear the brace daily. If icing and bracing fail to eliminate your pain or if it recurs, make an appointment at one of our centers. 

What Are The Available Treatment Options For Tendonitis Of The Thumb (Tenosynovitis)

Tendonitis and de Quervain’s tenosynovitis are treatable conditions that respond well to conservative measures. Your first and most important step for recovery is refraining from repetitive activities that caused your pain. Getting a good brace, limiting repetitive movements, and icing the affected areas, as mentioned earlier, is the essential first step. 


NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs): Over the counter medications (NSAIDs) can help symptoms by decreasing swelling. 


Steroid Injections: Some doctors prescribe steroid injections. Steroidal injections can help reduce the inflammatory processes and decrease pain, but the long-term outlook of steroid injection near tendons and joints is not good. Published research in the Journal of Radiology reported significant degenerative changes in soft tissues (ligaments, tendons, and muscles), bones, and joints in patients injected with steroids. Therefore, we encourage you to dismiss steroid injections as a treatment option. 


Surgery: Surgery is an option when the tendon is fully torn. However, some surgeons recommend surgery for partially torn tendons to remove calcium deposits. However, you no longer need surgery to remove hard bits of calcium deposits around your tensions nowadays. There are non-invasive therapy options with Shockwave therapy and high-intensity laser therapy that can eliminate these deposits.  


Non-invasive therapy options: Holistic non-invasive therapies and treatment options are your best and most effective care method for tendonitis (tendinitis), wrist pain and thumb pain caused by de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Most effective treatment is through a combination of machine-provided therapies combined with customized exercise and rehabilitation of the damaged tissues. Physiotherapy devices through a combination of ultrasound, electrotherapy, ESWT extracorporeal shockwave therapy, and HILT (High-Intensity Laser Therapy) are most effective in reversing damage within tendons, including the synovium (covering of the tendons). 

What Are The Best Non-Invasive Therapy Options For de Quervain’s?

Rest, bracing, and targeted treatments are your best option if you are diagnosed with a de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. However, if you suffer from moderate de Quervain’s tenosynovitis or severe tenosynovitis, you will need a combination of physiotherapy combined with specialized forms of chiropractic. We have provided some of the most effective methods in order of importance for acute and chronic cases below:

Joint and soft-tissue mobilization & manipulations: Soft tissue and joint manipulations are essential in recovering from complicated or severe de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. The best and most efficient methods of joint manipulation and mobilization are the chiropractic Activator Methods of manipulation

High-Intensity Laser Therapy: Laser therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment for tenonitis and de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. It is the best painless solution that offers significant pain relief by repairing damaged tissue and reducing swelling. 

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT): Another effective chiropractic treatment plan for de Quervain’s tenosynovitis is ESWT (extracorporeal shockwave therapy.) Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive procedure that breaks down adhesion, scar tissue, calcium deposits. It enhances the flow of blood to the injured region through the introduction of pressure waves. Shockwave therapy, in turn, boosts the healing process.

Ultrasound and electrotherapy: Electrotherapy (microcurrent, tens, and IFT) and ultrasound therapy are somewhat helpful. As a standalone, they provide little to no impact. But more effective when combined with both laser therapy and shockwave therapies.

Why Should You Choose Chiropractic Specialty Center®?

At CSC, we provide combined, customized holistic physiotherapy, chiropractic, and rehabilitation methods in the treatment of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, wrist pain, thumb pain, and tendonitis. You should choose us because of our knowledge, expertise, experience, and advanced non-invasive therapy technologies. 

Mild cases of de Quervain’s are self-limiting. Ice and rest can get rid of them. However, if they recur or have complicated de Quervain’s, you need a comprehensive solution offered at our centers. We have successfully treated thousands of tendonitis and tenosynovitis patients. CSC’s approach is holistic and provided through one or more of the following therapies or procedures:

  • Chiropractic treatment (joint and soft tissue mobilization)
  • High-Intensity Laser Therapy
  • Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)
  • Ultrasound Therapy
  • Electrotherapy
  • Rehabilitation (focused exercise, stretching, and strengthening programs

What Makes CSC Treatment Program Better For Thumb & Wrist Pain Caused By Tenosynovitis?

Unlike injections used in treating de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, CSC’s program treats the source. It is a surgery-free therapy option that accelerates tissue repair. 

We offer the most holistic de Quervain’s tenosynovitis treatment program in Malaysia. In addition to treating you with some of the best therapy technologies, CSC’s clinical teams will also customize an exercise and rehabilitation program as well as home care plans. We aim to eliminate the root causes of your pain for lasting relief. 

Specific strengthening and stretching exercises, including wrist flexion, grip strengthening, and finger spring, involving the forearm, wrist, and thumb, can help decrease pain. Chiropractic Specialty Center®, our treatment for de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, includes advice about:

  • Modification of activities
  • Reduced exposure to positions that worsen the condition
  • Ergonomic changes
  • Full thumb mobility can be restored by following the recommended exercises from your physiotherapy treatment program.

Recovering From de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis: How Long Does It Take?

The typical recovery time for de Quervain’s is about 4-6 weeks. However, if you get your treatments through CSC, you will notice improvements during your first week. The comprehensive nature of our integrative treatment programs provides faster relief compared to competing centers. Patients with moderate de Quervain’s require more sessions than mild. Severe de Quervain’s tenosynovitis conditions may need 15 or more sessions with CSC’s advanced care methods.


The number of physiotherapy sessions depends on your condition. You’ll require fewer sessions if it is diagnosed in its early stages. It would be best if you contact one of our centers for a detailed assessment.  


 Contact us today, and don’t neglect your condition. de Quervain’s tenosynovitis can cause significant disability. It can permanently restrict your tendons. The pain may spread from the base of the thumb through the arm. This ultimately ends up affecting your range of motion.

Do’s And Don’ts Of De Quervain’s Tenosynotis

Do wear a thumb and wrist brace or splint to immobilize your thumb and wrist. This helps to rest your tendons. Ensure your movements are slow and smooth. Here are some dos and don’ts:

  • Do take frequent breaks if you perform recurrent tasks using your hands.
  • Do follow the exercises that our chiropractors recommend.
  • Do ice the area to relieve inflammation as per our instructions.
  • Do note activities that cause thumb and wrist swelling, pain, and numbness. Notify CSC’s clinical about them and try to avoid these activities. 
  • Don’t perform repetitive movements.
  • Don’t force your arms into any position.
  • Don’t do anything that may worsen your condition.
  • Don’t get steriod injections
  • Do call us if you are experaincing pain numbness or tinling in your hand, fingers, thumb, or wrist. 

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is an inflammatory condition that shouldn’t be left untreated. Through chiropractic treatment and physical therapy, you can effectively deal with this condition. Laser therapy, shockwave therapy, and exercises are effective treatments for de Quervain’s tenosynovitis. 

You should talk to a CSC chiropractor today if you are suffering from this condition. They will be able to develop the best treatment plan to help reduce pain and stimulate healing. Don’t wait until this condition gets worse. Remember, untreated de Quervain’s tenosynovitis may end with the tear, degeneration of joints, tendons requiring surgery. Don’t wait until surgery becomes your only option, as surgical repairs tend to tear again and lead to permeant disfiguration of your wrist and thumb. 

Contact us today for the best de Quervain’s tenosynovitis treatment in Malaysia for lasting relief without injections or surgery!   

Leave a Reply