Managing Pain and Symptoms of DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis

DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis Scenario: Kate, a new mum, has developed pain in both of her thumbs from picking up her baby.


DeQuervain’s is a condition where the two tendons that insert into the base of the thumb, the abductor pollicis longus (APL) and extensor pollicis brevis (EPB), become inflamed inside of the sheath.

The sheath supports the tendons and stabilises them in place. The tendons become inflamed from repetitive use. Dequervain’s is common in new mothers due to the pistol type action required when picking babies. Pain can then become constant and start to affect other daily activities.

Treating Dequervain’s

Treatment of DeQuervain’s can include the fabrication of a thermoplastic wrist and thumb splint to immobilise the APL and EPB tendons. Softer splints and taping in combination with thermoplastic splinting may be appropriate when dealing with both hands, or when weaning out of hard splints. Graduated strengthening is important to help with tendon healing and to help you return to previous function.

Your hand therapist can give you strategies to help manage pain and symptoms and still be able to care for your baby.

If you have any questions, give us a call today.