Tips From a Hand Therapist

 

Attention New Parents: Raise your hand if you have wrist and thumb pain while caring for your new baby? Quite common to new parents, deQuervain’s Tenosynovitis is caused by overuse of the thumb tendons at the wrist when you repetitively lift the newborn from the floor, crib, or car seat with your hands under his/her arms. Good news… A hand therapist at Armworks can help you adapt the way you lift and hold your new little one to allow tendons to rest and heal.

Symptoms:

  • Thumb discomfort while lifting or feeding your baby, or while fastening all 38 snaps on those adorable baby pajamas.
  • Pain along the thumb-side of your wrist, which may radiate into your forearm or along the back of your thumb.
  • Swelling at the thumb-side of the wrist and into the forearm.
  • A sticking sensation when moving your thumb.
  • Pain with wrist motions while pinching.

Here is a quick test:

Tuck your thumb into your fist, then bend your wrist toward the small finger. If that hurts, and you have other symptoms listed above, you likely have deQuervain’s Tenosynovitis.

Wrist and thumb pain

A few tips from a Hand Therapist

Lift your baby differently: Changing the way you lift your baby may be the most effective treatment. Try placing one hand in the palm-up position under the head/upper back and the other under their bottom. Bring the baby close to your body to decrease the force needed to support him

Not recommended:

not recommended tips for baby Lifting

Recommended:

recommended tips for baby lifting

 

Alter your bottle or breastfeeding position: Various feeding positions put strain on your wrist and thumb; use of a pillow for support will reduce this. Alternating holds can be helpful; football hold and straddle hold are options. If bottle feeding, change the hand holding the bottle each feeding to allow your tendons to rest.

breastfeeding position

Lift Car Seat Ergonomically: Keep wrists straight and use two hands when transferring seats in and out of the car. Lift and place the seat in the car, then turn into position once set. Additional stress is placed on the tendons when attempting to turn and place at the same time.

Support: To help protect your thumb and wrist from excessive movement and stress, try using support in the form of a splint or tape. A soft splint or Kinesiotape will be most comfortable for you to wear against the baby’s skin.

For individualized treatment, the Certified Hand Therapists at Armworks Hand Therapy can help ease your pain, teach you how to adapt activities, and find the right splint which will allow you to focus on caring for your little one pain free! To speak with one of our therapists, call one of our clinics or schedule an appointment online.