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Examine your hand attentively as you hold it out in front of you. Four fingers and one thumb comprise the human hand. Have you ever considered how frequently your thumb is used?
Any thumb injury, including cuts, tendon damage, and even broken or fractured thumbs, can make everyday tasks difficult, especially if it happens to your dominant hand. Such injuries can also painfully compound wrist ailments.
Have you ever felt pain in your thumb? Is tendonitis a work related injury? In this article, we’ll explore the symptoms of tendonitis in the thumb, its treatment, and how to claim workers’ compensation for tendonitis of thumb.
Tendonitis in the Thumb: What is it?
Tendons are robust tissue strands that attach muscles to bones. A tendon becomes inflamed when it has tendonitis. Every tendon in the body is susceptible to it. Swelling, soreness, and discomfort can occur when a tendon is inflamed.
Tendonitis is related to a different condition known as tenosynovitis. The tendon sheath lining around a tendon becomes inflamed in this condition. The tendon and sheath can be inflamed simultaneously, though typically, only the sheath is affected.
The two most prevalent types of thumb tendonitis are trigger thumb and De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. A painful inflammation known as De Quervain’s occurs in the “anatomical snuffbox,” which is located at the wrist’s and thumb’s base.
Trigger thumb, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, can cause locking sensations in addition to pain and inflammation. Both diseases are frequently linked to repetitive work-related duties and can be brought on by trauma and impact injuries.
Tendonitis in the thumb cases linked to repeated stress from extended mobile device or tablet usage has increased recently. The illness has become so widespread among young people that new titles have been given to it to reflect the likely cause. Texter’s thumb, Gamer’s thumb, and Mummy’s thumb are a few examples.
What Causes Tendonitis in Thumb?
Have you ever thought about what causes pain in thumb and wrist? Sprains or fractures from unexpected traumas are frequent causes of wrist pain. However, chronic issues, including carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and repetitive stress injuries, can cause wrist pain.
The exact causes of tendonitis in the thumb are unknown to medical professionals. The most likely reason is overuse. Repeated movements of the hand and thumb, such as lifting with the thumb up, squeezing, pinching, clutching, and wringing, can cause inflammation.
Repetitive strain can frequently be brought on vibrating instruments, scissors, or hammers. Regularly lifting their newborns might cause De Quervain’s tenosynovitis in new mothers.
Tendonitis thumb risk may increase due to scar tissue that results from an injury or surgery that narrows the tendon tunnel. Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions may also contribute. Tendonitis in the thumb is more common in adults between 30 and 50 than in different age groups.
Tendonitis in the thumb can affect anyone who does repetitive movements. The prolonged use of paintbrushes, hammers, keyboards, pens, pencils, and cell phones can exacerbate this condition.
Hormones alter the strength of tendons throughout pregnancy and after childbirth. A new mother may lift her child 25 to 30 times per day, which causes the thumb tendons to inflame because they aren’t given enough time to rest.
Common Reasons for Workplace Tendonitis in the Thumb
Any employment situation that demands you to hold or spin anything repeatedly with your thumb is the most typical cause of tendonitis in the thumb that is related to the workplace. De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis-causing workplace circumstances include:
- Carrying heavy objects, such as chainsaws, regularly
- Uncomfortably carrying items, potentially one-handed
- Utilizing vibrating equipment
- Repetitive hand motions as typing or operating a computer mouse
Is tendinitis covered by workers compensation? De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is typically covered by workers’ compensation, just as other kinds of repetitive strain injury. You most certainly qualify for workers’ compensation if you are feeling pain or suffering due to this ailment brought on by repetitive stress at work.
👉De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist.
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— CB Physiotherapy (@CBPhysioAH) March 3, 2022
Symptoms of Tendonitis in the Thumb
The most common symptoms are soreness and swelling at the thumb’s base. Tendonitis in thumb and wrist symptoms may result in:
- Reduced grip strength
- Pain in thumb base and wrist
- Swelling and discomfort on the side of the wrist
- Pain while moving the thumb or wrist
- Pain in thumb when gripping
- Pain in thumb muscle
- Pain increases when you use your thumb and hand
- A cracking sensation as the tendons move through the sheath
The discomfort will get worse if you move your thumb or wrist in any way, including squeezing, grabbing, or wringing.
How to Diagnose Tendonitis in Your Thumb
Your hand will be examined by a doctor to see if you have pain when applying pressure to the thumb side of the wrist.
The doctor typically conducts a test known as Finkelstein’s technique to confirm the diagnosis. In severe cases of inflammation, a bulge on the tendons can be visible and felt and may even generate a cracking sound when the tendons are moved. Usually, there is no observable edema.
X-rays are useless because they cannot detect soft tissue injury. To rule out additional conditions, such as osteoarthritis at the base of the thumb finger, your doctor may advise you to take an x-ray.
Tendonitis Thumb Joint Treatment
Tendonitis in the thumb is a debilitating disorder that can significantly affect your life. Early intervention can stop the illness from developing into a chronic issue.
The illness frequently gets better without needing medical attention with home remedies, including rest, cold and heat, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, and activity moderation.
If symptoms continue, splinting, oral anti-inflammatory drugs, acupuncture, and corticosteroid injections could be suggested. Splinting on its own frequently fails to relieve pain. Injections of steroids may offer total relief.
Research reveals that a single steroid injection can relieve roughly half of the patients.
How to fix tendonitis in thumb? You can also perform the exercise for tendonitis in thumb listed below.
Wrist Extension Stretch: With your elbow erect and your palm down, stretch your arm in front of you. With your other hand, pull the palm of the affected hand upward until you sense a stretch. Hold the hand there for 20 seconds before letting go.
Wrist Flexion Stretch: Stretching the wrist by flexing it. The injured hand’s top should be pushed downward while maintaining the same arm position as while stretching the wrist. Hold the pose for 15–30 seconds once a stretch is felt.
Thumb stretch: Put your thumb on the nail of your bent little finger by bringing it across your palm. You’ll form the letter “O” using your palm, thumb, and little finger. You can extend the stretch by extending the little finger toward the knuckles. Hold the pose for 15–30 seconds once a stretch is felt.
Ulnar Deviation Stretch: The thumb side of your arm should be directed up toward the ceiling when you extend it out in front of you. When a stretch is experienced on the forearms inside, use another hand to push the whole wrist down toward the floor. Keep holding the pose for 30 seconds.
Tendonitis in the Thumb Surgery
You could require thumb surgery to treat tendonitis in the thumb if noninvasive treatment fails to alleviate your symptoms or if the condition is severe.
The surgeon can access the compressed nerves and relieve them with a tiny incision. Although surgery has a high success rate in symptom relief and a low rate of complications, full recovery may take many months.
Typically, postoperative care is not extensive. Patients should start using it for everyday tasks and other light activities as soon as possible. Patients are often free to resume regular activities after removing the sutures, which typically takes two weeks.
Mild soreness and swelling could last for several months. The use of hands may be advised to regain function. Surgical problems do happen occasionally. The most frequent conditions, local soft tissue infection and wound dehiscence are routinely treated non-operatively with oral antibiotics and local critical care.
Proof to File Worker’s Comp Claim for Thumb Tendonitis
When filing a de Quervain’s tenosynovitis workers comp claim, you can represent yourself if your thumb injury occurred at work or was significantly influenced by your employment.
As a general rule, anyone seeking tenosynovitis compensation for this type of damage is likely to need proof of the following:
- How the injury occurred and how it manifests
- Medical record documentation to see the extent of current treatment and anticipated future needs
- Any long-term effects of the damage and if a permanent impairment is likely to result
- Medical expenses, such as hospital visits, hospital stays, and medications
- The anticipated price of medical care, ongoing support, and rehabilitation services
- The degree of pain and suffering experienced as a result of the thumb injury
- Afflicted person’s average income and expected future earning capability
You can get legal counsel from qualified personal injury lawyers who will evaluate your prospective thumb injury compensation claim if you’d want a proper evaluation of whether you have a valid claim and the potential thumb injury compensation to which you are entitled.
The study of medical records is a crucial component of tenosynovitis workers compensation litigation, just like in other personal injury cases. The best medical record company can provide error-free medical record review services.
Attorneys can take advantage of medical record review, a beneficial service offered by a specialized medical record review company, to ensure that all pertinent medical records are carefully reviewed on the base of the case.
Although most people associate workplace injuries with unexpected catastrophes like vehicle accidents or slips and falls, many are not as apparent or quick. The pursuit of a workers’ compensation claim may be significantly complicated by injuries that develop gradually, such as tendonitis.
If you have a tendonitis disability, either temporary or permanent, you can qualify for tendonitis workers compensation.
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