Biceps Tendonitis, Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow), Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow), De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, and Trigger fingers are among the most common repetitive motion and overuse conditions. These conditions may be treated nonsurgically with splints, exercises, and modification of activities, but sometimes require surgery and post-surgical therapy. At FORM Hand Therapy, our hand therapists have extensive education and training in the rehabilitation of tendon repetitive injuries and tendon overuse conditions.
The following are just a few tendon overuse and repetitive use conditions we treat. If you have a question about whether your condition should be treated by one of our hand therapists, call FORM Hand Therapy at (510) 585-2535 or ask your doctor for a referral to FORM Hand Therapy. If you are not currently under the care of a physician for your condition or would like to be evaluated by an Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in hand, wrist and elbow conditions, schedule an appointment at FORM Hand, Wrist & Elbow Institute.
- De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
- Trigger Finger
- Biceps Tendonitis
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is inflammation of the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist that are involved in extension of the thumb joint. These tendons are usually strained from repetitive motion injury.
- Pain at the base of your thumb.
- Difficulty moving your thumb or wrist that involves grasping or pinching.
If you are referred to FORM Hand Therapy for conservative treatment of De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, our hand therapists will make modifications to activities which aggravate your symptoms. They will provide an exercise program for stretching and strengthening. They may also create a custom fabricated splint to stabilize the wrist and thumb to assist in resting the tendons in the affected compartment.
If surgery is needed for more severe symptoms, our hand therapists will make every effort to assist in your return to full hand function through gradual progression of strengthening exercises. These exercises include gentle active range of motion and tendon gliding exercises to eventually grip and pinch exercises.
Trigger finger is a common condition that affects the tendons that flex the fingers and the thumb. The flexor tendons of your fingers and thumb travel down tunnels guiding them down the digits into the palm. If the tendon becomes inflamed narrowing the space in the tunnel as it tries to glide, the tendon will get trapped, and cause the digit to get stuck in a flexed or occasionally extended position. Symptoms can occur with overactivity of repetitive gripping.
- Stiffness in the finger, especially in the morning.
- A popping or catching sensation.
- Pain with bending the finger.
- Inability to straighten the finger.
- A nodule/lump that is tender in the palm at the base of the affected finger.
Your doctor may refer you to a hand therapist for nonsurgical and post-surgical treatment of trigger finger depending on the severity of the condition. For nonsurgical treatment, our hand therapists can fabricate a custom splint to restrict finger movement, teach you exercises to avoid finger stiffness, and modify activities while the finger is healing. The goal of hand therapy following trigger finger surgery is to improve range of motion and regain function of the hand.
The biceps muscle is located at the front of your upper arm with its main tendon attached to the front of the shoulder. Biceps tendonitis occurs when this tendon becomes inflamed from irritation that can be due to normal wear and tear, prolonged repetitive movements, or related to other shoulder conditions such as arthritis, shoulder impingement, chronic dislocation/instability, and cartilage tears. If inflammation of the tendon continues, it can cause the tendon covering (tendon sheath) to become thicker or cause the tendon to tear.
- Pain in front of the shoulder.
- Shoulder tenderness to touch.
- Worsening pain and/or muscle weakness with overhead or lifting movements.
- Clicking sound or sensation with shoulder movement.
- Radiating pain to the elbow or towards the neck.
Biceps tendonitis is usually treated with physical therapy and rarely needs surgical intervention unless there are other shoulder conditions present that require surgery. Once your doctor has determined that your shoulder pain is due to biceps tendonitis and recommends physical therapy as part of your treatment plan, our therapists will design a comprehensive therapy program for you. They will work with you to tailor a program specifically based on the severity of your tendonitis, other shoulder conditions present, and your goals for recovery.
We understand the that there are specific activities that are important to you and essential to your day to day duties. Our well-rounded, hands-on approach ensures that you stay motivated and disciplined with your therapy program to get you back to pain-free function. Your therapy program will include strengthening and range-of-motion exercises for balance and support of shoulder muscles, hands-on manual therapy for assisted movement and flexibility, and specific activity training and proper body mechanics to reduce the strain on your shoulder.