De Quervain’s Tendinitis from Golfing
It goes by many names—texting thumb, mother’s wrist, washerwoman’s sprain and the list goes on. Officially named after the Swedish doctor Fritz de Quervain who first identified it in 1895, De Quervain’s Tendinitis from golfing is uncomfortable no matter how you obtain it. So what do texting, lifting a baby and washing with a washboard all have in common? They each use the two tendons on the thumb side of the wrist, the abductor pollicis longus and the extensor pollicis brevis.
These tendons are responsible for moving or gripping with the thumb. Such an action is a large part of several popular sports, like tennis, racquetball and—yep, golfing. De Quervain’s Tendinitis from golfing is a common woe among golfers of all ages. Read on to learn how you can tell if you have De Quervain’s Tendinitis and what to do about it.
The definition of tendinitis is a condition where a tendon (the connecting tissue between the bone and muscle) becomes inflamed. Naturally, there are different forms, as tendinitis can occur anywhere there is a tendon. De Quervain’s Tendinitis is one of the most common forms, as are achilles tendinitis, tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. (Sorry, golfers. Looks like your sport can take a toll on the tendons.)
When a person develops De Quervain’s Tendinitis from golfing, tennis or (sadly) texting, he or she will notice a pain in the inner wrist underneath the thumb. The pain may develop gradually or might hit a person all of a sudden. Sometimes the pain is only present in the wrist. However, often times the pain will spread either into the thumb or down into the forearm. This is the unpleasant sensation of two inflamed, overused tendons.
But how do the abductor pollicis longus and the extensor pollicis brevis become inflamed? As they run along the wrist, both of these tendons are located underneath a fibrous, protective sheath. Overuse can cause the tendons to swell or the sheath to thicken. If one or both of these things happen, it creates friction between the tendons which leads to pain and swelling.
De Quervain’s Tendinitis tends to worsen with grabbing, pinching gripping or moving the thumb. Sometimes, a person feels a snapping sensation in the thumb, as well. Naturally, golfers depend on a good grip for a good swing, so De Quervain’s Tendinitis from golfing is bad news.
In most cases, this diagnosis requires a golfer to take a break from the game. Resting and icing the wrist is the best way to take down swelling and decrease pain. Using a splint is also effective and can help prevent further injury. Once a golfer feels that his or her wrist and thumb has improved in strength and range of motion, he or she can start playing again.
However, a post-injury golfer should give themselves time to get back into the swing of things or else they’ll swing themselves right back out of commission. It’s important to be gentle and continue to ice, massage and stretch the injured wrist to prevent another bout of De Quervain’s Tendinitis.
You might want to read fractured Hamate bone from golf here.