Upper Back Issues

de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

Causes
Repeatedly performing hand and thumb motions such as grasping, pinching, squeezing, or wringing may lead to a condition called tenosynovitis. This inflammation hampers the smooth gliding action of the tendons within the tendon sheath. Arthritic diseases that affect the whole body, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also cause tenosynovitis in the thumb. In other cases, scar tissue from an injury can make it difficult for the tendons to slide easily through the tendon sheath.

Symptoms
At first, the only sign of trouble may be soreness on the thumb side of the forearm, near the wrist. If the problem isn’t treated, pain may spread up the forearm or further down into the wrist and thumb.

As the friction increases, the two tendons may actually begin to squeak as they move through the constrict-ed tunnel. This noise is called crepitus. If the condition is especially bad, there may be swelling along thetunnel near the edge of the wrist. Grasping objects with the thumb and hand may become increasingly painful.