De Quervain’s Tendinosis

Have you experienced pain in your thumbs that sometimes travels up to your forearm and even your elbow? Do you get this pain when you are gripping something or twisting your wrist? I have had golfers, badminton players, rock-climbers, even patients who do not engage in sports complain of such pain and they feel like it causes their thumb to have a snapping or catching feeling. This is a common overuse injury which is known as De Quervain’s tendinosis.

Tendinosis is the swelling of the tendons in the tendon sheath and De Quervain’s can be most obvious in golfers due to their repeated movements and swinging of the golf club. The worry comes when it is added to high impact of hitting the ground. Golfers with these issues will find that it isn’t just a one off issue but leads to chronic pain even off the golf course.


There are several ways to treat De Quervain’s non-surgically. First, we can place the thumb and wrist in splints. We could also try kinesiotaping to give the thumb enough restriction so that it can heal while still allowing free movement to c onduct activities of daily living. This could be partnered with NSAIDs if the pain is highly irritating and causes daily stress. The activities that cause the pain should also be avoided. Physiotherapy is another form of non-invasive treatment that could be considered to regain normal pain free movement and rehabilitation.

Invasive treatments would start with Corticosteroid injections. They could be administered by an orthopedic surgeon or if all else fails, you could also see an orthopedic surgeon for surgical intervention.