Written by: Taylor Post BA-Kin, CAT(C)
De Quervain's tenosynovitis (dih-kwer-VAINS ten-oh-sine-oh-VIE-tis) is a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. In part 1 of this article we explored the signs, symptoms and cause of De Quervains tenosynovitis. Here we look at simple exercises that can be done at home to improve the symptoms of De Quervains Tenosynovitis:
Wrist Flexion & Extension Stretch
Hold the affected arm out if front of you (with elbow straight and palm facing up). Grasp your hand and gently bend your wrist down towards the floor. You should feel a stretch along the top of your forearm but it should not be painful. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and then repeat the stretch starting with your palm facing down. This will allow you to stretch the muscles on the opposite side of the arm. Perform the stretch 3-5 times each direction.
Place your hand on a table or flat surface, with your palm facing up. While keeping the back of your hand flat against the table (as much as possible), attempt to bring your thumb across your palm to touch tour little finger. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat 10 times.
Squeeze a soft rubber ball and hold the squeeze for 5 seconds. Do 3 sets of 15.
Place your wrist in a sideways position with your thumb up. Hold a small weight (a can of soup or a hammer can be used as a substitute) and gently bend your wrist up, with the thumb reaching toward the ceiling. Slowly lower to the starting position. Do not move your forearm throughout this exercise. Do 2 sets of 15.
Flexion and Extension
Still holding your small weight, place your arm on a table, with your palm facing up. Keeping the back of your arm flat against the table, curl your wrist up towards the ceiling and then slowly lower it back down. After performing 3 sets of 10-15 reps, repeat the exercise with your palm face down.
Try and perform these exercises daily. If the exercises exacerbate your pain, try decreasing the weight or the amount of reps that you are doing. You may also need to take a rest day between workouts. If your pain does not improve, it is necessary to consult a doctor or allied medical professional.
It is also important to remember, that while this article presents many helpful tools to get started, not every injury or rehabilitation process will be the same. Make sure to listen to your body and to consult a medical professional as needed. Your local Athletic Therapist is a great resource for injury advice, and will design a program to suit your needs and fitness goals!
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