Tendonitis in the hand, wrist, and elbow is a common problem that usually stems from the overuse of a joint. At The Hand Center in Hartford, Glastonbury, Tolland, and Bloomfield, Connecticut, the experienced medical team provides prompt diagnosis and specialized treatment of problems like tendonitis. If you’re having chronic pain in your arm, call The Hand Center office nearest you today or schedule an appointment using the online booking form.
Tendonitis is inflammation affecting a tendon. Tendons are the stretchy connective tissues that attach your muscles to your bones. The inflammation seen in tendonitis causes pain around a joint, swelling, and reduced function.
Tendonitis can affect any of your tendons and is a common problem in the hands, wrists, and elbows. Tendonitis can sometimes be due to an acute injury, but the most common cause is repetitive strain.
If you repeat the same movement over long periods, it puts stress on the tendon that causes irritation and inflammation to build up. The result is chronic pain that affects your ability to do your regular activities.
Tendonitis in the hand and wrist is often caused by structures called pulleys. The pulleys are there to hold the tendon in the correct place and allow it to glide smoothly. If these pulleys tighten and restrict the tendon, it can cause tendonitis.
Common forms of tendonitis affecting the hand and arm include:
De Quervain's disease, also called De Quervain's tenosynovitis, is an inflammation of the tendons at the base of your thumb. These tendons help move your thumb away from your hand. The sheath or lining around the tendons can swell, which causes pain when you make certain thumb or wrist movements.
The pain affects your thumb on the side of your wrist. It’s worse when trying to get hold of something or making a twisting movement. Women are more likely to get De Quervain's disease than are men.
Trigger finger is caused by restriction and inflammation of the tendons that bend your finger where they pass through one of the pulleys in your palm. Symptoms include pain and tenderness at the base of your finger, swelling, and the finger catching or locking up.
To start with, your provider at The Hand Center is likely to take a conservative approach in treating tendonitis. Your treatment program can include:
Hand therapy can often help. Your therapist gives you specific exercises to do at home that target the affected structures.
If, after these initial treatments, the pain is still there, you might need to have steroid injections to relieve the inflammation. If the injections don’t help either, you might need surgery. This could involve releasing the tendon sheath or pulley to allow the tendon to move smoothly again.
Find out more about treatments for tendonitis by calling The Hand Center today or booking an appointment online.