Wednesday, June 18, 2014

De Quervain's Tendonitis

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A few weeks ago, I started having major pain from my thumb up to my wrist. It started the same week I was doing the insanity DVD workouts which included a lot of push-ups, so I thought I had strained it doing my work-outs. The pain was worst in the mornings when I first woke up, so I figured I was sleeping weird on my strained wrist. My thumb joint then started popping every time I moved my thumb. I thought that it was popping out of its socket, (which is wasn't, just what it seemed like), it was very painful and uncomfortable.

Having wrist pain with a non-walking, needs-to-be-carried baby is not very convenient. Natalie needs to be picked up, there's no other option for her, and she's not getting any lighter. It hurt every time I picked her up, and completely resting it wasn't an option.

After two weeks, the pain wasn't going away, so I finally made an appointment with an orthopedist. My mother-in-law had given me a wrist brace that held the thumb in place that I wore for two days before the appointment, and it felt tremendously better just in those two days.

As soon as I described my symptoms to the doctor, he immediately said "Oh! De Quervain's Tendonitis. I could have told you this over the phone." Well great, so glad I took an hour out of my day to get here!


De Quervain's tenosynovitis (dih-kwer-VAINS ten-oh-sine-oh-VIE-tis) 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 — such as working in the garden, playing golf or racket sports or lifting your baby — can make it worse.
I was handed a piece of paper that described symptoms which included things like "Very common among new mothers" and "typically caused by carrying babies." One website even called this "Mommy Thumb" and said some 50% of new mothers experience this. My pain and symptoms were text-book. Actually, my doctor and his wife had a baby 5 days after I had Natalie, and his wife is suffering from the same exact thing right now! He assured me that if I wear the brace it should be gone within a few weeks. It is not a precursor to carpal tunnel or arthritis and is extremely common.

So that's where I'm at with my tendonitis. The brace is helping a lot, it's just annoying - difficult to change diapers, gets sweaty on these warm weather days, and blogging/typing on the computer? Yea, that's fun. 

Anyone else experience tendonitis with a new baby?

12 comments:

  1. I never had De Quervain's tenosynovitis, but I had a horrible case of carpel tunnel from my elbow down to my pinkie and ring finger and the pain would wake me from my sleep. I even had to get rigged up and have electrical currents shoot through my elbow to my fingers to determine how severe the carpel tunnel was. The cause of the condition was carrying and holding my baby-that would be you. I also had to wear a brace so I know what you mean about it being a nuisance but it does provide relief. Hope you are healed completely very soon.

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  2. Ugh I hate wearing wrist braces. I've always had issues with my wrists and had to wear them from time to time. You really don't think of how much you bend your wrists until you can't! Hope it feels better soon!

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    1. You're right, it's really limiting to do things wearing the brace! The good news is it feels so much better already!

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  3. I hope this gets better soon, Laura! New moms really are rock stars with all the new challenges faced, including things like this.

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    1. Yea..I like the way you view it - I see it more as "I'm falling apart at the seams" lol...(there are a couple other "ailments" I've experienced since having Natalie that I have noooot even shared here)

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  4. Yep pretty sure I had that after having Hunter, though mine started pretty soon after having him and I finally figured it out after googling/looking on babycenter so I never really did anything about it and eventually it went away on it's own but it does make it really hard to pick up a baby or change diapers, I was always wincing in pain.

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    1. Yea that's me too! It feels muuuch better already with the brace, so I think this will be gone by next week!

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  5. I had this in college actually.....probably caused by waiting tables actually. I had to wear that brace for 6 months because it would.not.heal. and I had 3-4 cortisone shots too (OUCH). I could hardly move my wrist, so the brace was necessary. It really was awful. Hope you feel better soon!

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    1. that sounds sooo awful!! The doctor suggested cortisone if it gets worse for me, but I don't think (I hope not) that it will get that bad. I feel so much better already! Thanks!

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  6. Ugh it sounds so painful. I actually have been having issues with my wrists too. I swear it has something to do with nursing and pumping. Holding my chest up while pumping plus lifting Jack has taken a toll on my hands. Hope you feel better soon.

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    1. I'm sure your wrists are a bit overworked from pumping and holding Jack, just make sure you rest them and take care so you don't develop this too!

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  7. One of my best friends got it while she was pregnant...it was really painful...hope it gets better soon!!

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