Tendinitis In Thumb

By Julia Guthart OT/CHT

Tendinitis in the Thumb

Please watch this video by Dr. Kitay about arthritis of the thumb. 

We know that tendonitis of the thumb can be very painful and debilitating. We use our thumbs for so many things in our daily lives.  From texting to gripping and pinching.  One of the most common types of thumb tendonitis is DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis.  DeQuervain’s is a painful inflammation in the “anatomical snuffbox” or the base of the thumb joint.  Repetitive movements or overuse in this area can cause micro-tears.  This can lead to swelling and pain with the movement of the thumb.

Another tendinitis of the thumb is commonly know as Trigger thumb or stenosing tenosynovitis.  This condition is different as it usually presents with a locking sensation.  You may be more familiar with trigger finger.  It is the same condition but of the thumb. Both of these syndromes can also be caused by trauma and impact injuries and are often associated with repetitive work-related tasks. Frequent use of our phone, tools, or even a pain brush can cause repetitive strain.

Tendinitis In Thumb. A Thumb brace helps tendonitis pain. Visit JOI Rehab

Image of Injured Thumb in Brace.

Treatment for Tendinitis In Thumb

Conservative thumb tendonitis management may include activity modification, ice to reduce inflammation, massage, and bracing. Corticosteroid injections from a skilled physician can also be beneficial in reducing pain and swelling. Without treatment,  tendons may become chronically inflamed and frayed, requiring surgical intervention for relief.

Dr. Garry Kitay states, “although the majority of thumb injuries can be treated with bracing and rest, certain conditions need urgent attention to avoid long-term harm. These include several types of ligament ruptures and unstable fractures. If your pain is severe, or you are not improving quickly, seek medical attention.” Dr. Kitay is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and the San Marco Clinic practices.

The hand and thumb experts at JOI can help if you have tendonitis of the thumb.  To schedule an appointment with a physician, call JOI-2000. JOI also has skilled Certified Hand Therapists who can help you through the rehab process with your injury.

To schedule with JOI Rehab for hand therapy, please call 904-858-7045.  Please read this article on Direct Access to Physical Therapy. 


JOI Fracture and Injury Care Services

If you would like to learn more about Tendinitis in the Thumb, please click here:

Related Articles:  De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

To schedule an appointment, please call 904-JOI-2000, schedule online or click below.

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By: Heather Lopez, OT, CHT 

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