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De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Splinting

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis (Part 2) – Splinting

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is a painful tendonitis on the thumb side of your wrist. This inflammation causes the lining (sheath) around the tendon to thicken and become rough, making it difficult for the tendons to glide through the sheath as they move your thumb. Some of the associated symptoms may include:

  • May have swelling near the base of your thumb.
  • May be tender to touch over the back of the thumb.
  • Pain at the thumb side of the wrist with grip and pinch.
  • Difficulty with wrist motions while pinching.
  • Especially painful with wrist movements toward thumb and/or toward small finger.
  • “Sticking” or “stop-and-go” sensation with thumb movements caused by friction as the tendons glide through their sheaths.
  • If left untreated, the pain may radiate up your thumb and down into your forearm.


Custom splints are fabricated by Certified Hand Therapists (CHT) who are specially trained in the complex anatomy and function of your hand. Custom splints guarantee a perfect fit, to allow your thumb tendons to rest and heal. The CHT will use a thermoplastic material, which softens with heat, allowing the therapist to mold it directly over your thumb and wrist in a functional position. These splints are light-weight, removable with Velcro straps and easy to wear.

As your tendons improve, you may be able to wear a splint that allows full motion, but still gives support. Your therapist will be able to partially customize this splint as needed for support. Your OT/PT hand therapist will fit this to you and instruct in when to wear it and how to wean from it safely. 

The lightest level of support is kinesiology tape (KT). Your hand therapist will be able to tailor it to provide the most effective support and teach you to apply it yourself. Kinesiology tape provides support to healing tendons and gentle massage as you move your thumb with daily tasks. It also provides microscopic lift to the tissues to increase lymphatic flow, which decreases swelling. 

Armworks Hand Therapy has four clinic locations to assist you with your injury recovery. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, give our clinic a call or request an appointment online. We look forward to working with you!