Thumb & Wrist Pain?


If you experience pain at the flick of your wrist, the slightest pinch, or whenever you grasp an object, its possible you have de Quervain’s Tenosynosvitis (pronounced dih-kwer-VAINS ten-oh-sine-oh-VIE-tis). But how can you be sure with so many tendons, muscles, and bones running up and down the hand? Visit a pt Health clinic and let one of our qualified physiotherapists take a look. You’ll not only get a diagnosis, but a treatment plan to go along with it.

The pt Health de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Rehab Program

  • Addresses the full range of common wrist complaints such as:
    • Pain in the thumb that travels up the forearm
    • Pain with direct pressure to the affected area of the thumb and wrist
    • Inflammation and swelling
    • Difficulty gripping or grasping objects
    • Trouble with turning the wrist inward
  • Does not involve medication or painkillers.
  • Is covered by most extended health plans.
  • Starts quickly with next day appointment availability

de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Symptoms

  • Difficulty moving the thumb and wrist during activities involving pinching and grasping
  • Pain in thumb that travels up the forearm
  • Pain with direct pressure to the affected area of the thumb and wrist
  • Inflammation and swelling

de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Rehab

  • Provides an effective therapeutic approach designed to relieve pain
  • Prescribe focused stretches and movements that patients can do at home to relieve wrist pain where the affected tendons cross
  • Provides preventative strategies to deal with lifestyle, work, and other risk factors that could be causing your pain

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Treatment Plan


Is de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis the same as Wrist Tendonitis?

When you have de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, there is very local damage to the tendons along the base of the thumb. Because many tendons cross the wrist sometimes you hear someone refer to their condition as a general wrist tendonitis. Since we are talking about a very specific form of tendonitis with de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, treatment is similar to a general wrist tendonitis, only much more focused on the thumb area.

When you make an appointment with pt Health, your physiotherapist will ask you questions about your pain including your activities and whether or not you have suffered a blow to the hand. This type of questioning along with designated tests can either confirm or diagnose de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis as it is a very specific form of wrist tendonitis.

From there, you will receive a treatment plan aimed at restoring functionality in the affected tendons. But therapy goes way beyond basic exercises. Your therapist will need to retrain you to perform basic movements that have otherwise altered the normal functionality of the wrist.

Pain Relief

If you’re in the early stages of de Quervain’s, your therapist might work on reducing inflammation with ice and ultrasound therapy. Because tenosynovitis is two tendons inside the same wrapping or sheath, it is especially prone to becoming irritated, so this can be a challenge.

Splinting or Bracing

Along with stretching and strengthening exercises, a brace or splint may be recommended for someone with de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis.  A brace mobilizes the hand while allowing you to continue strengthening the tendons while regaining functionality.  pt Health carries a wide selection of braces and splints that can be custom fitted to your injury. Most supports are covered by insurance plans as well.

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Bracing Options

Get the Right Fit with a Tenosynovitis Splint at pt Health

When it comes to de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, a Spica Splint or brace is often recommended to mobilize the wrist. This type of splint resembles a fingerless glove and gives your fingers the freedom to move around.  The interior includes some metal and the shape is moldable so your physiotherapist can adapt the splint to injury.

pt Health carries a wide selection of splints, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing your support elsewhere. Additionally, most splints and braces are covered by insurance plans as they are part of your de Quervain’s Recovery Plan saving you out of pocket costs.

Ask your therapist what splint is right for you. We carry a selection of brands including:

  • Procare
  • Med Spec
  • Bio Skin
  • Breg
  • Mueller
  • Imak
  • Thuasne
  • Thermoactive

Wrist Conditions


A painful wrist can be caused by numerous conditions, so just how do you know if you are suffering from de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis or another common condition, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, or wrist tendonitis? Because damage can be vague, but treatment is very specific when dealing with tendonitis, it’s essential to be seen by a physiotherapist to get the proper rehab program.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome shares many of the same causes as de Quervain’s such as repetitive motion. However, the damage is altogether different. For example, with carpal tunnel syndrome, swelling occurs in the median nerve. As a result, the carpal tunnel, a channel of nerves and bones, is compressed and presses on the nerve causing pain to extend into the fingers and up the arm.

de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a type of Wrist tendonitis. With de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis, there is pain, tenderness, and swelling near the base of the thumb due to the tendon sheath being damaged. People with this condition will often complain of difficulty moving the thumb and wrist during activities involving pinching and grasping. They may also notice a, “sticking,” and “squeaking,” sensation as the tendons make contact with the inflamed sheaths.

A Finklestein’s test can be performed to test for the presence of de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis.

Wrist Tendonitis

Many tendons cross the wrist, and wrist tendonitis refers to inflammation of one or more of these tendons.  The main symptoms are pain, swelling, and tenderness at the point where the tendons connect to bone or cross over each other. Like de Quervain’s wrist tendonitis is the result of overuse.

Trigger Finger or Thumb

Occurs when a finger or thumb become stuck in a bent position and straighten with a snap due to a narrowing sheath of the affected finger. People who perform gripping actions, women, and people with diabetes are most susceptible. The sheath is lined with a substance called tenosynovium. When it becomes inflamed, the space within the tendon sheath becomes narrow and constricted.

Why is it important to understand the difference?

If you are seeking treatment for a painful wrist, it is most likely disrupting your daily activities. Oftentimes, patients will attempt to self-diagnose and discover that taping or bracing options could relieve their pain. This is great except for there are many different braces on the market. Therefore, if you choose the wrong support or even the wrong size, you could unknowingly end up causing further damage to the tendon sheath and surrounding muscle, nerves, and bone.

Call us today and discover how pt Health can help you manage your wrist pain! 1 (888) 382-8908


pt Health clinicians believe that you deserve the best treatment available to deal with your wrist condition. We know that de Quervain’s Syndrome can change your life and your ability to participate in everyday activities. We know you want relief! That is why the pt Health clinical team has developed the de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Rehab Program. Our clinical approach involves a comprehensive individual analysis that takes your risk factors, lifestyle, and work function into account so that you can get well and stay well – now!

Coverage Options

At pt Health, we know that sorting out insurance paperwork can be time-consuming and confusing. We want your focus to be on getting well and staying well. With that in mind, we do our best to help you navigate through the necessary forms. We speak with your insurance providers and we’ll answer any questions you may have about your coverage.

pt Health services are covered by most health care insurance plans.  In most cases, if you are using your extended health care carrier or work plan, we do not require you to pay for your therapy sessions up front.* Instead, we bill your insurance company on your behalf.
If you have extended health care benefits that cover therapy, most auto insurance companies require that your claim be placed through your extended health plan first. Any remaining balances for services are then covered by your auto insurance plan. On your first visit, you may be asked to provide information about your extended health plan. If you do not have extended health care benefits that cover therapy, your treatments may be billed directly through your auto insurance company. For residents of British Columbia, ICBC covers a partial amount of treatment visits. Patients will be asked to co-pay the difference at each visit. If a patient has extended health care benefits, it is possible to claim the difference back.
Although each clinic’s approach to intake, assessment and therapy do vary, generally speaking your physiotherapist will ask a series of questions that will help better describe all of your symptoms in detail. Your physiotherapist can then carry out your assessment. The physiotherapist will examine you physically and discuss the findings, the cause of the problem, and suggest a solution that can effectively treat your health problem.
OHIP covered physiotherapy services must be provided by a designated OHIP physiotherapy clinic. OHIP covers physiotherapy treatments, but does not cover the cost of an initial assessment. To qualify for OHIP coverage, you must have a medial doctor’s referral, be 19 years or younger, be 65 years or older, or be receiving benefits under the Ontario Disability Support Program or Family Works. If you have been admitted overnight in hospital for a condition that now requires physiotherapy, you are also eligible.
Some pt Health clinics will be able to bill Blue Cross direction for physiotherapy and massage therapy treatments if you are a member of:

  • RCMP
  • DND
  • Canadian Forces
  • Veterans Affairs

For any treatments that are only partially covered, you may be asked to co-pay the difference at each visit.

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