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De Quervain Syndrome Aka "Texting Thumb"

Friday, Oct 21, 2016
Texting Thumb

"Texting thumb", also known as de Quervain syndrome, is a condition that affects the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist. De Quervain syndrome is caused by activities that require repetitive hand or wrist movement – such as texting, gaming, or lifting children.


  • Pain and/or swelling near the base of the thumb
  • Trouble moving your wrist and thumb
  • A "stop-and-go" feeling when moving your thumb
  • Spasms in the hand
  • Burning sensation over thumb side of wrist

Risk Factors

  • De Quervain syndrome is more common in women
  • This condition often occurs during and after pregnancy due to hormonal changes, lifting, and fluid retention
  • People ages 30-50 are more likely to develop de Quervain syndrome, but adolescents are more frequently being diagnosed due to excessive phone usage
  • Participating in activities that require repetitive hand or wrist movement (i.e. lifting children, texting)


Every body is different, so treatment will vary patient to patient. But the goals of treating de Quervain syndrome are the same: reduction of inflammation, prevention of recurrence, and preservation of movement. The most common treatments include:

  • Medication to reduce pain and swelling
  • Hand therapy
  • Applying ice
  • Immobilizing the affected thumb to keep them straight and rest the tendons
  • In some more serious cases, surgery

The number one cure for "texting thumb" is limiting your phone usage! Take a break from texting unless absolutely necessary.  

About Doylestown Health's Orthopedic Institute

For joint repair and replacement, spine and hand surgery, sports medicine and osteoporosis care, you’ll find Doylestown Health’s Orthopedic Institute is the perfect fit. With same and next day appointments available, our board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians treat all types of bone and muscle conditions. And for eligible joint replacement patients, our rapid recovery program helps patients return to the activities they love – faster.

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