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De Quervain Syndrome – Thumb Side Wrist Pain Treatments & Relief

Have you recently started feeling some weird pain on the thumb side of the wrist? Other wised known De Quervain syndrome and is also known to affect the “texting thumb” if you are familiar with smartphone texting. But don’t panic as this condition can be well managed and treated, so you feel better within the shortest time.

For avid gamers who play too long, your chances of suffering from gamer’s thumb are pretty high. While experts refer to this condition as de Quervain tenosynovitis, you’ll hear a lot of people refer to it as de Quervain’s syndrome or de Quervain’s disease.

For people who have no idea, sharp wrist pain thumb side is characterised by painful inflammation of the tendons around the wrist and lower thumb. The not so cool part is that de Quervain’s disease triggers swollen tendons to rub against the very narrow tunnel they pass through, causing almost unbearable pain at the base of the thumb. This may sometimes extend to the lower arm.

What causes of thumb side of wrist pain de Quervain Syndrome?

As things stand, doctors are still not sure about the primary cause of de Quervain’s disease  or texting thumb for short. That said, several studies have shown that wrist pain on the thumb side could be triggered by any of the following:

  • When there is a direct blow to the thumb, you may start feeling some weird pains that can make it almost impossible to engage in the things you love the most.
  • For avid gamers who can’t go a day without playing their favourite games, you’re at risk of having sore wrist under thumb.
  • If you engage in hobbies like racket sports or gardening, there is a high probability that you may experience severe wrist pain thumb side.
  • For people with existing conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, your wrist may become inflamed and may cause wrist tendon pain thumb side.
  • Repetitive workplace tasks have been found to cause serious wist conditions.
  • When your wrist and hands are called into action far too often, you may develop wrist pain on the thumb side.

Causes of Texting Thumb Wrist Pain?

Anyone can start feeling some weird pain on the thumb side of their wrist. That said, here are some things that could increase your risk of suffering de Quervain’s tenosynovitis:

  • Age: If you’re an adult within the age of 30 and 50, you’re very likely to suffer from this condition.
  • Gender: Statistics show that more women suffer from de Quervain’s syndrome than men. Simply put, women are 8-10 times more susceptible to get de Quervain’s disease than men.
  • Motherhood: While bringing your bundle of joy to this world comes with a lot of excitement, it can also put you at risk of suffering from de Quervain’s disease. The truth is, the repeated lifting of your little one can trigger wrist bone pain thumb side.
  • Motion: Do you tend to move your wrist now and again? Then you’re very likely to suffer from this condition.

Symptoms of de Quervain Thumb pain?

Once you start feeling any weird pain on the thumb side of your wrist, don’t take things for granted and get it checked out as soon as possible. For people who think they have de Quervain’s disease, here are some telltale signs you may notice:

  • Pain: Feeling pain in your thumb is one telltale sign that something isn’t right. Most times, you’ll feel the pain just on the back of your thumb, especially directly over the two tendons.
  • If you notice unexplained swelling and pain that extends to the base of your thumb, it’s a sign that something is wrong and you may just be suffering from de Quervain’s syndrome.
  • Another symptom of de Quervain’s disease, you should look out for is swelling, and pain that extends from the wrist to the side of your thumb.

Note: Severe wrist pain thumb side of the wrist can kick off slowly or happen suddenly. And whatever the case may be, the pain you’re feeling can travel to your thumb, all the way to your forearm.

In addition to that, you may experience excruciating pain when trying to move your thumb, especially when you try to grab or pinch things. In severe cases, the pain you feel may worsen when you move your thumb and wrist.

How is thumb side wrist pain diagnosed?

Diagnosing this condition isn’t all that difficult. For a start, your doctor will examine your wrist to find out if it hurts when he exerts pressure on the thumb side of the wrist.

This is quickly followed by the Finkelstein test. During this test, the doctor will usually ask you to bend your thumb across your palm. After that, you’ll also be asked to bend your fingers down over your thumb, just like you’ll do when moulding a fist. This back and forth movement tends to stretch the tendons.

Should you feel pain on the thumb side of your wrist, then you most likely have de Quervain’s disease.

Top Treatments For thumb side wrist pain

When you are suffering from de Quervain’s disease, the goal of treatment is to help manage the pain and inflammation you’re experiencing, especially when moving your thumb. Here, check out some top treatment options for de Quervain’s disease:

  • Medication: To manage the pain you’re feeling, you may be asked to take over the counter medications like ibuprofen and other pain killers.
  • Physical therapy and splints: To build strength in your wrist and prevent thumb side wrist pain, your doctor may suggest physical therapy and exercises.
  • To help manage the pain and swelling, your doctor may order you to wear a splint that will help hold your thumb and wrist together. This will help speed up healing and recovery.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, you may need surgery to correct the issues in your wrist.

Frequently asked questions

Is it normal to feel pain on the thumb side of your wrist?

If you feel you may have overworked your wrist, it’s only normal to feel little pain afterwards. But if the pain becomes severe and persists, then it’s time to get it checked out.

Can I treat thumb side wrist pain at home?

If the pain you’re feeling is mild, you can apply ice on your wrist and see if you feel better. Sometimes, you may want to take some time off to relax.

When should I see a doctor?

A thumb wrist pain that just won’t go away even after taking some time off to rest is a sign that something isn’t right. So feel free to see a doctor if you think your condition is becoming worse .


Thumb side wrist pain can be so discomforting and may prevent you from engaging in the activities you love. But guess what, this condition isn’t a death sentence and can be treated with prompt diagnosis and treatment. So when you start feeling pains on the thumb side of your wrist, quickly visit your doctor for prompt diagnosis and treatment.