The wrists and hands are complicated systems so when the joints and tendons are weak, your movement and style of living will definitely be affected. Consult your doctor to receive care for all sorts of hand and wrist ailments including De Quervain’s disease.
What is De Quervain’s Disease?
This disease is named after the person who first identified the disease in 1895, Swiss surgeon Dr. Fritz de Quervain. Others call it de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, de Quervain’s tendonitis or mother’s wrist. The disease usually affects the wrists and thumb. People suffering from the disease experience discomfort on the tendons along the back of the thumb until the side of the wrist. The pain usually comes when holding an object or the thumb is being moved.
What Can Cause The Disease?
Often, the disease develops when the wrist tendons become stressed and inflamed. While experts are still debating the specific cause of the disease, it may be the outcome of the following:
- Repetitive use of the thumb
- Fast movements using the hand and thumb
- Massive force or direct injury on the wrists
- Sleeping in a position in which the hand is placed in a peculiar place
- Inflammatory arthritis
What Are The Symptoms Of The Disease?
Pain can progress slowly or be experienced suddenly which worsens over time. Repetitious movements on the thumb and wrist will make the tendons thicker thus making it harder for them to function naturally which makes the individual suffer from:
- Pain and limited movement of the wrist and thumb
- Pain when extending the thumb
- Problem in pinching or gripping objects
- Discomfort on the base of the thumb
- Locking sensation on wrist and thumb
How Is De Quervain’s Disease Diagnosed?
During your checkup with your physician, he will ask about your medical history and assess your symptoms. He will ask you to perform a few exercises to check the condition of your thumb, wrist and hand. He will check for joint weaknesses, what part of the arm feels painful and which have problems with mobility. You may also be required to undergo the following:
- X-rays – Your doctor may need images of your hand and wrists to assess if there is a broken bone.
- MRI – This imaging technology utilizes the power of magnets and a specialized computer to process the images of your hand and wrists. Having an MRI is the best way to diagnose if a person has De Quervain’s disease.
Who Is At Risk?
This disease can be acquired by anyone at any age, specifically for those individuals who live an active life. Those individuals who are between the ages of 30 to 50 often have a higher risk of acquiring the disease. Jobs and hobbies such as gardening, prolonged carrying of kids, golf, sports that use rackets can place you at a higher risk on developing De Quervain’s disease.
How Is The Disease Treated?
The disease is being treated in two ways which are:
These medications are given by doctors to lessen the inflammation and discomfort brought by the disease. They can also be bought over-the-counter even without a doctor’s order. Ask the pharmacist which is the right kind of medicine for your condition and how much dosage to take.
Having steroid injection to a patient result in long-term decrease of the symptoms of the disease such as inflammation and pain. Steroids are usually injected directly to the affected wrist.
Patients can opt for this if the other treatments recommended by the doctor do not work and the pain already has a huge effect in their daily life. During the surgery, a cut is made in the tissue that protects the tendon. This will help the tendon move freely which will eliminate the stress and pain.
Can The Disease Be Avoided Or Prevented?
The only way one can avoid the disease is to stop doing repetitive actions or activities. Do not overuse your wrists to help reduce the stress and the daily wear and tear. Take regular breaks so that you can rest your arm during work. Consider wearing a splint once the symptoms have shown up. Follow specific hand and finger exercises recommended by your doctor or physical therapist.