De Quervain’s Tendonitis & How to Make it Stop Hurting
By 965koit on June 17, 2019
When you’re a mom, it’s just a given that parts of your body are going to hurt.
Your arms will tighten and lock when that crying baby finally falls asleep at an awkward angle in your arms.
Your neck and shoulders will ache from lifting that 7lb butterball.
Your back will hurt from hovering over the crib while they sleep like a psycho. Just me?
Those are the aches and pains I expected. What I didn’t expect was for my hand and wrist to hurt.
I’ve had my tonsils taken out. I’ve had all four wisdom teeth pulled. I’ve had knee surgery. I’ve had my tibia bone secured into place with screws and metal plates.
Nothing hurts like De Quervain’s tendonitis.
WHY DOES MY WRIST HURT?
It’s simple. You’ve got De Quervain’s tendonitis.
WHAT IS DE QUERVAIN’S TENDONITIS?
It’s also known as “Mother’s Thumb,” and it’s when the two tendons on the side of the wrist get swollen. These tendons are responsible for moving the thumb, and when they are swollen, they stretch over the wrist bone, causing the fire of hell to rise from the underworld and shoot through your wrist.
Okay, not really. But it seriously feels like it.
HOW DID I GET DE QUERVAIN’S TENDONITIS?
There are many reasons. It could be that extra pregnancy weight or hormonal fluctuations, but the biggest culprit is the repetitive lifting of your baby. You know, the one thing you can’t avoid when you have a baby. The worst part? There is no way to tell if you’re going to get it until you get it. You usually start to feel the pain and ache in your wrist about two to three weeks after childbirth, or for me, when I took Lilly home from the NICU.
HOW DO I GET RID OF DE QUERVAIN’S TENDONITIS?
It rarely goes away on its own, so don’t be like me and think it’s just a phase or you’ll tough it out. Early treatment is critical, and it will make you feel better, so why not see the doctor quickly? You can try some exercises like these here, but my tendonitis was too far gone for these to be helpful. The only thing that helped was getting a cortisone shot right into the tendon. Sure it didn’t feel good, but the hellfire died down 24-hours after getting the shot, and within two days it was gone entirely.
BUT I DON’T WANT TO GET A SHOT! WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
1) Get a splint: You’ll want one that covers and stabilizes your thumb. If you can still bend your thumb, then it is the wrong splint.
2) Lift your baby differently or not at all: Easier said than done, right? But if the pain is just starting and you’re able to catch it quick, have a partner or family member lift your baby for you for a couple of days.
3) Change your breastfeeding position: This can be as simple as using a pillow or a different hand to support your child’s head.
4) FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY, SEE A DOCTOR! I swear it’s worth the copay. Just get it done!
DOES DE QUERVAIN’S TENDONITIS REQUIRE SURGERY?
It can, that’s why you need to see a doctor. I waited until things were so bad, and surgery was on the table for me. I was terrified of hand surgery, but my doctor told me that it’s actually a very routine and easy procedure. But you don’t want to get surgery unless you have to, so explore other options before you go that route.
Hang in there, mama. It will get better, I promise you. And if no one has told you lately, you’re doing a great job! Science even proves it! Check it out here.
Need more info or just want to know how to pronounce De Quervain’s tendonitis? Check this out.