Thursday, 27 November 2014

Can Acupuncture help De Quervain's tenosynovitis

 De Quervain's tenosynovitis is a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. If you have de Quervain's tenosynovitis, it will probably hurt every time you turn your wrist, grasp anything or make a fist.
Although the exact cause of de Quervain's tenosynovitis isn't known, any activity that relies on repetitive hand or wrist movement can make it worse. Its usually worse in females and quite often I see females who have just had a baby. Maybe its the repitive action of holding the baby combined with some ligament laxity that creates instability within the tendons. Other susceptible groups are musicians, assembly workers, golfers, machinists and more recently, video game players and people who overuse smartphones.

The test to help you decide if you quervains is the catchy name of the Finkelstein test. In a Finkelstein test, you bend your thumb across the palm of your hand and bend your fingers down over your thumb. Then you bend your wrist toward your little finger. If this causes pain on the thumb side of your wrist, you likely have de Quervain's tenosynovitis.

  • Immobilizing your thumb and wrist, keeping them straight with a splint or brace to help rest your tendons
  • Avoiding repetitive thumb movements whenever possible
  • Avoiding pinching with your thumb when moving your wrist from side to side
  • Applying ice to the affected area

In addition to the above acupuncture works as a useful adjunct.

Acupuncture may reduce muscle shortening which is causing tension in the tendons and their terminal insertions. Acupuncture may facilitate blood flow to the tendon locally and at a distance, through the release of several neuropeptides. My own experience is that by using acupuncture along with the advice above that the condition improves with a reduction in pain. Thus is of course only my experience and needs to subjected to a large clinical trail to confirm my experience.


  1. I have read your idea and seen your technique.I think your technique is follow able.I know many technique form your blog. Physio in Five Dock

  2. Learned about a new and very important treatment 'De Quervain's tenosynovitis'.I have no idea before. But sir,many acupuncturist in Sydney are talking about pain and depression management. But after reading yours I am clear about the differences between two treatments.Thanks