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I used to suffer from de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. So I feel your pain. It started in May 2019. I’m not a doctor and I’m not giving out medical advice, but I did want to share my experience and what I’ve been doing that has finally made it start healing. If you have recently been diagnosed or you have been struggling with it, just like I have, let me share my personal experience. Hopefully, it will help you decide what you need to do. I won’t make you wait for the answer either. One of the big things that helped was Osteo Bi Flex de Quervains. You will have to read on to find out when one I used though!
What Is It?
de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a type of tendinitis in the wrist caused by the overuse of the two tendons that run alongside the base of the thumb. The tendons basically become so inflamed that they rub against the tendon sheath, putting pressure on nerves and causing excruciating pain. This is why you are probably feeling pain when you move your wrist. I also experienced a “snapping” or “popping” sensation when I tried to scratch my back.
I do recommend seeing your doctor at the onset of any symptoms or unusual pain, but there is a simple test you can do at home to get an idea of whether it’s de Quervain’s or not. It’s called the Finklestein test. What you do is reach out as if you are getting ready to shake someone’s hand. then lower your thumb and wrap your other fingers around it. It’s basically a fist with the thumb inside. See above picture for reference.
If you feel any kind of pain running along the side of the wrist or base of your thumb, it’s most likely de Quervain’s. It’s actually a very common injury, from new mothers who are constantly using their wrist to pick up their baby to the athlete who is pushing too hard too soon and overloads the tendon. Can you guess which one I am? I was over training at the time and trying to increase weights when I really should’ve been focusing on form. I believe it was the bicep curl that did it. I didn’t actually feel an injury occur. I just know I woke up one day in and my wrist hurt. I thought it would go away, that it was just a minor pain. When it didn’t go away after a few days I began icing it. When that didn’t work, I went and got a few wrist braces and did some online research. I eventually gave in and went to the doctor a month later and I got the diagnosis de Quervain’s. They told me to ice it, gave me list of rehabilitation exercises, and gave me a new brace to wear at night, that actually prevented my thumb from moving. If you go out and buy a brace yourself, make sure it’s one that immobilizes the thumb, since it’s the thumb tendons you want to heal. It was hard to rest it completely though because I had lost my temporary corporate job and I was stocking lunch meat at a grocery store.
The Cortisone Shot Experience
By September, it was in so much pain, I needed to do something. I researched the next steps and saw some people having success with cortisone shots. To my knowledge, this injection acts as a very strong anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. I was very confused in the beginning though. I didn’t realize that it’s not just an inflammation problem. Depending on the severity of it, your tendons are actually injured, not just extremely swollen. I’ve had a total of 2 cortisone shots. Shot #1 took place at the end of September. I was little nervous because I read some stories that made it sound painful, but I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t even feel it. The doctor used a numbing spray, then did the injection. It did take a few days before I felt the pain relief. And I was back to working out. Shot #2 took place at the end of January 2020. This one hurt. I experienced the “cortisone flare” with this one. My doctor gave me an anti inflammatory gel to try with it which helped with the pain alot!
Let’s Try Something New
In March it was back to hurting. I decided against another shot. I wanted to heal it. Again, it took the pain away. But the pain came back. I opted against a third shot. Cortisone shots are meant to be temporary and are not that great for the joints when consistently used! If not careful it can weaken the tendons and ligaments.
This is what FINALLY worked
So I’ve actually been doing a few things that I will swear by. I’m going to say it has been a mix of doing these things that have helped.
Osteo Bi-Flex Joint Health. This one was actually recommended by a guy on Youtube. He had said within 2 weeks of taking this supplement the pain was completely gone in his wrist. Well…that wasn’t exactly the case for me, however I did begin to feel some relief after 7 days, as it claims. I have noticed that when I skip it for a few days, I feel more pain. This supplement has also helped my knees with my heavy lifting.
Voltaren Diclofenac Sodium 1% gel. This is an acts as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). I love that this is a topical treatment rather than a pill. You can put on the effected area and it will start to work in about 20 minutes. In the beginning I used it 4 times a day, now I’m down to once a day. It used to be prescription only, but is now available over the counter. This is what my doctor gave me after shot #2!
Collagen. Collagen has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Our body naturally produces collagen, but as we age, collagen production decreases. Adding an extra collagen supplement is great for soft tissue, ligaments, and tendons. Take it as soon as you wake up on an empty stomach for best consumption.
Wrist rehabilitation exercises. This is the most important one. If I could go back in time and tell myself this one critical tip, I would. So if you are in the beginning stages, DO THIS if nothing else. I was skeptical of this, but what I’ve learned is these exercises help build the smaller muscles of the wrist that you otherwise wouldn’t be working. The tendon is better protected. Within 2 days of starting these exercises, my pain had diminished by 90%. Do these exercises!
I really hope this is able to help someone as much as it’s helped me!! let me know in the comments if you have suffered from deQuervain’s and if you have been able to heal from it!