DE QUERVAIN - what is this wrist pain?



Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness in Belfield provides servicing to many near by Inner West suburbs including Belmore, Strathfield and Croydon park. See our weekly blog below if you are interested in new research, facts, general information or ideas.

Are you feeling pain on the side of your thumb? It is irritating and giving you pain throughout the day? Is it affecting your ability to grip? You might be suffering from De quervain tendinopathy!


What is it?

De quervain is when you feel pain on the side of the forearm and thumb. The pain is mostly notable during thumb movements or holding an object.

It is an overuse condition. It involves two tendons of the thumb - Abductor pollicis longus (APL) and extensor pollicis brevis (EPB). The two tendons run through a tunnel created by the tendon sheath. When you perform excessive repetitive movements of the thumb or gripping motion, the tendons are thickened and cause pain.


Who is at risk of acquiring De quervain tendinopathy?

  • Middle aged adults between 30-50 years old

  • Gender: Woman’s rate of occurance is than man

  • Occupation: Computer workers or gamers who uses the mouse a lot which invovles repetitive use of the thumb

  • After pregnancy: Repeatitive lifting of the baby


How can physiotherapy help?

  1. Our job is to find out what kind of activity is irritating the wrist. Once we find out the source, we will try to minimise the task to allow the thumb and wrist to rest.

  2. Exercise prescription: Strengthening and stretching of the thumb and hand has shown to have good effect of reducing pain.

  3. Soft tissue release: Tightness of the muscles has to be addressed in order to reduce pain level and restore function of the hand.

Take Home Message:

Dont let the pain on your hand stopping you from living your life. You want to be able to perform your daily activities pain free. If you ever feel pain on the side of your thumb and you are on of the person who fits in the risk category, dont hesitate to go to a professional to obtain a thorough assesstment and treatment.

This information can be used to gain a better understanding of De quervain tendinopathy. To find out more about how we can help your pain, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.



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Written by Willis


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