Thursday, March 17, 2011

De Quervain's Tensosynovitis

De Quervain's tensosynovitis. I can't say it three times fast. In fact, to be honest, I can hardly manage to say it at all. And yet, apparently, I have it.

De Quervain's tenosynovitis (duh-kare-VAHS ten-oh-sine-oh-VIE-tis) is a painful inflammation of the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist, and if you have it "you're likely to feel discomfort every time you turn your wrist, grasp anything or make a fist." I don't know if you've ever thought about just how many times a day (or even an hour) you "turn your wrist," but trust me - it is A LOT.

I've been dealing with this pain every time I move my right hand for weeks and I've tried everything I can think of to make the pain stop. I've iced my thumb and wrist. I've soaked my hand in cold water and hot water and Epsom salts. I've warmed my hand with paraffin. I've wrapped it, braced it, tried to use it as little as possible, tried to stretch it gently, taken anti-inflammatory and pain-killing drugs...all to pretty much no avail. So I finally caved and called my rheumatologist, and he diagnosed me with de-qu-whatitis-itis.

Also known as "washerwoman's sprain" or "mommy thumb," most people get de Quervain's tenosynovitis from repetitive hand or wrist movement - like washing clothes by hand or constantly picking up and carrying a baby. (Turns out it is also a lot more common in women, hence the sort of sexist nicknames). More recently, the syndrome has been dubbed "Blackberry Thumb" for people who get it from too much texting. (And one of my friends rather rudely suggested calling it "Handjobitis")

But I didn't do any type of repetitive motion to trigger this pain. Apparently (lucky me!) if you have RA, you can get de Quervain's tenosynovitis for absolutely no reason whatsoever!!!

RA you never cease to surprise me. 


Laurie Grassi said...

I'll post the same thing I just posted yesterday on Squirrel's site: Sucks! :(


~Mariah~ said...

LAURIE: Thanks. ~;o( If you've got any other brilliant ideas for hand pain, I'd appreciate them as I seem to be all out! My newest idea was to literally tie my right arm across my stomach so I would be completely unable to use it (i.e. maximum rest) but that plan quickly failed when I realized I couldn't even pull up my pants!! ~;o(

Laurie Grassi said...

Yeah, the pulling up the pants thing is a problem. I had the same one when my frozen shoulder was hurting like hell. Now it's just stuck so I manage. So I hear you. Makes you treasure EVERY LITTLE MOVEMENT you can do without pain. So hope you get better soon.

Can they inject you with a nerve block or something? (And I say that having done no research at all, nada, just pulling that out of the air from who know where...)

:) L

Nessie said...

Ugh, it does suck! I had it last year (and, truthfully, I can still feel it lingering on), and seriously. I never thought about how many times per day I twist my wrist! Opening doors? Hurt. Painting my nails? Hurt. Buttoning a shirt? Hurt. Pulling on pants? Hurt. Typing? Hurt. Ugh. I hope you find something that works for you to make it feel better. The only thing that helped me was wrapping it all day (and not using it) and wrapping it in an ice pack at night.

~Mariah~ said...

NESSIE: So sorry to hear you had to go through this too! Did it at least sort of go away? At this point I sort of feel like it never will!! And not using it is SO HARD!! I'm not even right-handed and yet I use my right hand for EVERYTHING! Hope you're doing well.

Anonymous said...

Doc gave me a shot, put it in a half cast for 2 weeks... I could still, use my fingers and even my thumb some but after two weeks it was completely better... Go see a doc and get it fixed