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Tenosynovitis

Tenosynovitis is an inflammation of the casing that surrounds a tendon, typically occurring in the wrists or hands. Individuals with this condition typically experience pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the affected joints. Symptoms of tenosynovitis can range from mild discomfort to intense pain that restricts normal hand and wrist activities, impacting daily tasks and overall quality of life. 

typical causes:

Tenosynovitis typically results from repetitive strain or overuse of the tendons, particularly in activities that involve frequent hand or wrist movements. It can also be caused by direct injury to the area, such as an accident. Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes are at a higher risk of developing tenosynovitis. Other risk factors include certain occupational or sports-related activities that demand repetitive motion or excessive stress on the tendons. Poor ergonomic practices during work or leisure activities also contribute to the development of tenosynovitis.

how physical therapy can help:

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the management and recovery of tenosynovitis by reducing symptoms, restoring function, and preventing recurrence. Through a tailored treatment plan, physical therapists aim to alleviate pain and inflammation, improve joint mobility, and restore strength of the affected muscles. Manual therapy techniques may be utilized early on to reduce pain and restore movement of the joint and affected tendon. Strengthening exercises are typically progressed to restore proper function of the hands and wrists and restore the individual’s ability to complete daily tasks

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exercises that may help reduce pain:

Listed below are exercises that individuals may find beneficial in reducing pain and restoring function of the hand and wrist. Individuals are encouraged to meet with their primary care physician or physical therapist if they suspect they have tenosynovitis. The following exercises may not be appropriate for everyone and depend on the tendon involved. Hold off on any exercises that irritate symptoms.

Finkelstein Stretch – Start by making a fist with your fingers holding your thumb and wrist in a neutral position. While holding this position, slowly tilt the wrist in a downward direction until you feel a gentle stretch in the thumb and/or wrist. Perform 10-15 repetitions of this 2-3 times a day. 

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Hand and Wrist Flexor Stretch – Start with your hand open, palm facing the sky, and elbow extended. Gently pull your hand and fingers down towards the floor until you feel a gentle stretch in the forearm, wrist, and/or fingers. Hold this for 1-2 minutes and perform this 2-3 times a day.

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