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How De Quervain’s Disease Affects the First Dorsal Compartment of Our Hand?


The most common complaint from patients suffering from De Quervain’s Syndrome is the radial-sided wrist pain and soreness in the area where the first dorsal compartment of the extensor retinaculum is situated. This compartment comprises the Abductor Pollicis Longus and Extensor Pollicis Brevis muscles. In addition, in De Quervain’s disease, thickening of the synovium and hypertrophy of the retinaculum has been noted.

This condition is also known with various names like mommies’ thumb, gamer’s thumb, texting thumb, and any more that happens because of the inflammation and swelling near the muscles that run on the thumb-side of the wrist. These muscles slide through a protective cover known as tendon sheath – a thin membrane that reduces friction as the muscles slide through the tendon sheath.

When swollen, the sheath coating thickens, thus reducing the space through which the muscles pass. As well as the swelling and puffiness, fine fibers of tissue form between the tendons and sheaths.


Texting Tenosynovitis is a common syndrome caused by the overuse of the wrist and thumb.

It also is related to breastfeeding and pregnancy.

People with arthritis are more vulnerable to De Quervain’s Disease.

It is common in people in their 40s and 50s, affecting more women than men.


These are an indication of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis includes:

The main symptom of first dorsal compartment tenosynovitis is pain in the thumb side of the wrist. The pain happens either suddenly or slowly.  Its beginnings in the wrist and rise up in the forearm.  The pain is generally worse when you are using your hand. This is particularly true when forcefully holding or lifting objects or twisting your wrist.

You may even see swelling in the thumb side that accompanies a fluid-filled lump in this region.

You may feel a snapping or catching sensation while moving your thumb.

Pain and swelling make it difficult to move your wrist and thumb.

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Diagnosis

Your doctor will put some pressure on different points near your wrist and thumb that pinpoint the exact area of discomfort. They will also slowly bend your wrist and fingers to check if such movements cause any pain.

Tips to Prevent Tenosynovitis

Tenosynovitis usually starts with tendonitis. Though it isn’t clear what causes either one, there are some things you can do to lower the risk.

Take breaks. Try not to stay in the same position for a longer duration. For instance, if you work, that keeps you still for hours, take breaks, and move for every 30 minutes. Don’t do repetitive work without a break. Whether playing piano scales, typing or throwing a baseball, mix up your movements to remain balanced and give your body a chance to rest.

Learn how to lift. Be careful while lifting heavy objects. Use a soft but not excessively tight clasp when it’s strangely heavy, and prevent lifting with one arm or one side of your body.

Use De Quervain’s Wand. This Wand has proven to be an inexpensive and quick solution for De Quervain’s disease, easily used at home. The far-infrared and Ultrasound technology help restore hand movement and may postpone the need for surgery.

Move the right way. Understand the right way to perform the physical movements for your activities and sports. Whether you are lifting weights, shooting free throws, or playing the cello, there is always a proper technique to do it that can prevent injury. A physical therapist can help you with proper form. If you notice some movement that causes pain, stop and ask questions.

Warm-up before exercising.  About 5 to 10 minutes of light jumping jacks must be enough.

When to See a Doctor for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

If your symptoms remain even after several days of exercise and following home remedies, schedule a doctor’s appointment to avoid the condition from worsening.

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