What is De Quervain's Tenosynovitis?
De Quervain's Tenosynovitis is a painful repetitive strain injury (RSI) that affects the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. If you have de Quervain's tenosynovitis, it will probably hurt when you move your wrist, grip objects or even just make a fist.
- Pain at the base of your thumb
- Swelling at the base of your thumb
- Difficulty moving your thumb and wrist when trying to grip or pinch objects
If left untreated, the pain may spread further down your thumb and into your forearm.
What Causes De Quervain's Tenosynovitis?
Overuse of the wrist is the most common cause of de Quervain's tenosynovitis.
Tendons attach muscles to bone. They act as a rope to pull a bone / joint when the muscle contracts. When you grip, pinch or make a fist with your hand, two tendons in your wrist and lower thumb will glide smoothly through a small tunnel that connects them to the base of the thumb. Repetitive movements such as gripping a computer mouse or moving a computer mouse can lead to irritation of the sheath around the two tendons. This can lead to thickening and swelling of the tendon and thereby a restriction on the thumbs ability to move.
How is De Quervain's Tenosynovitis Treated?
Treatment for de Quervain's tenosynovitis is aimed at reducing the inflammation around the tendon. This is usually achieved through a combination of anti-inflammatory medication and Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy treatment may include:
- Immobilizing your thumb and wrist, by placing them in a splint or brace to help reduce movement and allow your tendons to rest
What Ergonomic Equipment is Recommended for De Quervain's Tenosynovitis?
It is important to consider your working environment when looking at treating De Quervain's Tenosynovitis. We recommend you consult with your GP and a Physiotherapist, in order to get a definitive diagnosis and any medical treatment that you may require. Once your symptoms are beginning to improve, you may want to try to re-introduce using a computer mouse again. Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you use your mouse for.
Many people with de Quervain's Tenosynovitis find that the gripping of a computer mouse aggravates their symptoms. If this is the case, you may need to consider changing to an ergonomic mouse that reduces the amount of gripping force required by your thumb to secure the mouse. Ergonomic mice that feature a molded thumb rest support will help reduce the amount of gripping force your thumb needs to apply to hold the mouse. We recommend the Ease Vertical Mouse or the Delux M618 Ergonomic Mouse. These particular mice feature a molded thumb groove rest that allows your thumb to lightly rest upon it, without having to grip much. By switching to this mouse, you will feel the difference immediately.