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Why is De Quervain’s Contracture famous from its nickname “Mommy’s Thumb”?

Do you think that De Quervain’s tenosynovitis was named “Mommy’s Thumb” to make it sound a little fancy? If yes, then you’re wrong, of course!  It was named “Mommy’s Thumb” for a particular reason. Let me tell you why.

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis:

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a condition affecting the tendons of the thumb and wrist. When the tendon sheaths are swollen, the tendons too become inflamed, causing numbness or painful movement of the wrist.

This is the most basic definition of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, also known as “Mommy’s Thumb.” But who exactly is at risk for developing it? Do you have to be a mother? Do you have to be female?

Risk Factors for the “Mommy’s Thumb”:

Gender- Being a woman is definitely a risk factor of De Quervain’s so that helps explain the mommy moniker attached to it.

Age factor- If you’re 40 years old or older then you are more prone to the disease.

Habits-if you have hobbies that involve repetitive use of the wrist or thumb regardless of gender.

Prior Injury- if you have injured your wrist or thumb in the past than you are more likely to suffer from this condition.

There are quite a few risk factors, right? But none of them explain directly why De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is called “Mommy’s Thumb.” Well, the gender risk factor explains part of it.

Mommy’s Thumb:

The primary reason why it is called “Mommy’s Thumb” lies within the fact that all of the repetitive motions of the wrist that make you prone to this disease are unfortunately made by a new mother.

Still doesn’t make sense to you.

Picking up a newborn or a baby in your hands is how it starts. The constant lifting of a baby by its mother may ultimately cause this syndrome.

Secondly, the constant holding of the baby makes the thumb area stretch out, making the two tendons of the thumb swell by the extension and overuse. And that’s not all!

Think of all the other work that mothers do day to day with their hands. Clicking, texting, holding laundry baskets, cooking, etc. The continuous stretching and pressure on the thumb ultimately result in what? The Mommy’s Thumb!

So I guess now the term makes a lot of sense to you, right?

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a disease widely and famously known as “Mommy’s Thumb” or Mommy’s wrist. It is the activities such as lifting the baby that is done by the mother, and all of her other daily activities which put pressure on the thumb and wrist, hence causing the syndrome. So next time when someone tells you that they’re suffering from Mommy’s Thumb you will know why!

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