De Quervain's tenosynovitis is inflammation of tendons on the side of the wrist at the base of the thumb. These tendons include the extensor pollicis brevis and the abductor pollicis longus tendons, which extend the joints of the thumb.
Treatment for De Quervain's tenosynovitis is aimed at reducing inflammation, preserving movement in the thumb and preventing recurrence. You may start doing exercises when it is not painful to move your hand. Only stretch as far as your own edge. Don’t force yourself into any position.
Make sure you refrain from doing any abrupt movements. Keep your movements even, slow, and smooth.
You may do these exercises when it is not painful to move your hand.
- Opposition stretch: Rest your hand on a table, palm up. Touch the tip of your thumb to the tip of your little finger. Hold this position for 6 seconds and then release. Repeat 10 times.
- Wrist stretch: Press the back of the hand on your injured side with your other hand to help bend your wrist. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Next, stretch the hand back by pressing the fingers in a backward direction. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Keep the arm on your injured side straight during this exercise. Do 3 sets.
- Wrist flexion: Hold a can or hammer handle in your hand with your palm facing up. Bend your wrist upward. Slowly lower the weight and return to the starting position. Do 2 sets of 15. Gradually increase the weight of the can or weight you are holding.
- Wrist radial deviation strengthening: Put your wrist in the sideways position with your thumb up. Hold a can of soup or a hammer handle 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.
- Wrist extension: Hold a soup can or hammer handle in your hand with your palm facing down. Slowly bend your wrist up. Slowly lower the weight down into the starting position. Do 2 sets of 15. Gradually increase the weight of the object you are holding.
- Grip strengthening: Squeeze a soft rubber ball and hold the squeeze for 5 seconds. Do 2 sets of 15.
- Finger spring: Place a large rubber band around the outside of your thumb and fingers. Open your fingers to stretch the rubber band. Do 2 sets of 15.
- Here is a great video that touches on wrist strength and the use of a theraband https://www.facebook.com/healingthroughmovement1/videos/2046003758945281/
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