Dr. Robert Fenell: I’m a chiropractor. I specialize in treating hand and foot problems, and over the past fourteen years, I have helped literally THOUSANDS of patients with debilitating hand and foot pain. Well today, I’m going to talk to you about a very specific, but yet very debilitating, hand condition known as DeQuervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis.
This problem occurs right where the thumb attaches to the wrist. There are actually 27 bones in the wrist and hand combined, and these 27 bones are held together by the ligaments in a proper, aligned position. Now, due to the rigors of life – bending, and moving, and doing certain activities – you can develop stress where the thumb connects to the wrist, and where the wrist connects to the forearm. When that happens, the muscles connecting your forearm to your thumb can become strained. The tendons glide through little fluid-filled areas in your wrist, where the bones move and bend; well, when these wrist bones and hand bones become misaligned, from all the stresses and movements and things you do, that fluid-filled area where the tendon glides through is shifted, it’s moved, and that puts a lot of stress on the muscles in your forearm and the tendons going through your wrist. Over a period of time, it can become irritated, stressed and inflamed, and that’s what causes that pain condition right here, where the thumb connects to the hand, and that’s called DeQuervain’s stenosing tenosynovitis.
Now, we can treat this very effectively, using gentle chiropractic manipulations – that’s right. We actually do adjustments to the wrist bones to realign these bones that have become misaligned. When we realign the wrist bones, now the muscle, and the tendon glides through that area very nicely, and that area that was stenosed, or constricted, is now relieved and relaxed. We have a lot of golfers and athletes and musicians that have developed this condition, and we’ve successfully helped them regain their health.
Another area that people develop DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis are pregnant, or are actually mothers. After they have their little babies and they hold their babies in their arms, a lot of times the mom will cock the wrist kind of awkwardly, and they’re holding the weight of that child there for hours on end, day after day, and that cocking of the wrist creates a lot of stress right there, where that hand and wrist and thumb come together, and that can cause the same exact condition. So, we teach these moms in our office not only how to correct this, and we adjust their hands and wrist, but we teach them how to hold their babies more stress-free so that way they can continue to do what they love to do.
So if you’re an athlete, we’re going to show you how to do your athletic activity a lot more effectively; a musician, we’re going to work with you on how to hold your instrument, or do your stretches and exercises before and after, to give your hands more relief; but most importantly, if you have this problem, you want to find a chiropractor that specializes in gentle, specific alignments or procedures to the wrist. It’s hard to come by; most chiropractors specialize in treating spinal conditions, but right now, I’m in the process of training chiropractors around the nation on how to become experts in treating hand, wrist and arm conditions, so they can help DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis.