Content on this website is intended for general information only. For answers to your specific questions or to schedule treatment, we invite you to contact us at 301-588-5858.

Acupuncture and Natural Medicine for De Quervain's Syndrome

De Quervain's syndrome or de Quervain's tenosynovitis is a painful inflammation of tissue in the wrist. Although its exact cause is not understood, it can be triggered by repetitive motion of the thumbs such as typing, texting and playing video games. As a result, it is sometimes referred to as Blackberry Thumb or Gamers' Thumb.

While anyone can develop de Quervain's, it affects women far more often it does men. It can be brought on by inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, as well as hormonal imbalances. In women it frequently occurs after pregnancy.

The tendon that controls the thumb is housed inside a tunnel or sheath that runs along the outside of the wrist. A thin, slippery membrane separates the tendon from the walls of the tunnel enabling the tendon to slide smoothly. De Quervain's is characterized by the inflammation of this membrane. When it becomes thick and sticky the tendon can catch or snag, causing an unpleasant and often painful snapping sensation when the thumbs are moved.

Common treatments for de Quervain's include a cessation of activities that aggravate the condition, the application of a splint to immobilize the wrist, pharmaceuticals such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) or cortico-steroid injections to treat the pain and inflammation, and even surgery in some cases.

None of these modalities, however, offers permanent relief from the disease. Moreover, pharmaceuticals can produce significant, and sometimes very serious side effects such as stomach bleeding, gastritis, and kidney or liver damage. Surgery can cause scarring, and in rare cases a painful condition known as complex regional pain syndrome.

Acupuncture, when performed by a skilled practitioner, can effectively reduce discomfort, pain and inflammation in the hand, wrist and arm caused by repetitive motion disorders, with few if any side effects.

In addition to reducing the symptoms of pain and swelling, acupuncture can also work on a systemic level to strengthen or modify the body's immunological response to disease. This means that acupuncture may in some cases help to prevent the recurrence of de Quervain's by reducing the source, or trigger, of the inflammation.
"In my experience, de Quervain's syndrome typically responds well to acupuncture treatment. Depending on the individual's occupational or other risk factors, the condition may resolve completely or it may require treatment on a regular schedule. In some cases, the condition seems to have features of de Quervain's syndrome as well as carpal tunnel syndrome. These cases have also responded well in my practice."

Dr. Eric Windsor, D.Ac.

You May be Interested In:

Contact Our Office
Conditions A-Z (list and web links)
Pain Relief
About Acupuncture
Before Your Visit
Information for Physicians
About Dr. Eric Windsor
Biochemical Research on Acupuncture
How We Work with Lab Tests and Imaging

About Maryland Holistics

Maryland Holistics LLC is the private practice of Dr. Eric Windsor, D.Ac., L.Ac. Our serene, professional office is located in Ellicott City, MD. Maryland Holistics has provided care to thousands of satisfied customers since opening in 2009. Dr. Windsor is a preferred provider in the CareFirst, Blue Cross Blue Shield, GEHA, and United Healthcare networks.

3525 Ellicott Mills Dr., Ste E
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Phone: 301-588-5858
Fax: 443-308-5690