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Repeated Texting Could Cause BlackBerry Thumb

| November 10, 2013 | 0 Comments

Are you experiencing pain, tenderness and swelling over the thumb side of the wrist, and difficulty gripping? If so you may have what is called, in medical terms, de Quervain tenosynovitis. This occurs as a result of inflammation long the sheath of the abductor pollicis longus (APL) and extensor pollicis brevis (EPB) tendons (or in layman’s terms) the first dorsal compartment of the wrist. People who text often have been know to experience this problem.

Thdequervainssyndrome01e condition is also known as gamer’s thumb, washerwoman’s sprain, radial styloid tenosynovitis, de Quervain disease, de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, de Quervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis, mother’s wrist, or mommy thumb), is a tenosynovitis of the sheath or tunnel that surrounds two tendons that control movement of the thumb.

Workers who perform rapid repetitive activities involving pinching, grasping, pulling or pushing have been considered at increased risk. It  may be seen in golfers, fly fishermen, racquet sports participants or individuals involved in activities that require forceful gripping, coupled with bending the wrist away from the thumb.

It also can be seen during pregnancy because of swelling in the wrist and hands, or shortly after because of repetitively picking up the new baby.

Treatment options include ice, thumb spica splints, oral or topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, and corticosteroid injection into the first dorsal compartment of the wrist. Ultrasound guided injections can improve the accuracy and efficacy of the injections.

Complete pain relief can be seen in 80% of individuals after corticosteroid injection.

Activities should also be modified to avoid repetitive wrist extension and rotation.



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Category: Injuries

Christopher Burton, M.D.

About the Author ()

Christopher Burton, M.D. is a physician, speaker, coach and trainer, practicing in Pensacola, FL. He specialized in Physiatry - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), which is the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of conditions - particularly those of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems - that may produce temporary or permanent impairment of function. In addition to his practice, he actively lectures on health, nutrition and exercise for healthcare groups, colleges, schools and travels internationally discussing treatment and rehabilitation of athletes.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Burton you can view his personal website at:

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