How to Prevent Tendonitis in New Mothers

Tendonitis that affects the tendons of the thumb, known as de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, can cause pain at the base of the thumb and wrist that worsens with wrist or thumb movement.

Risk Factors for De Quervain’s Tendonitis

De Quervain’s tendonitis is caused by overuse of the thumb and wrist, particularly in a side-to-side motion. The condition is often seen in new mothers and caregivers of children because of the repetitive motions involved in holding, feeding, bathing, and dressing the child. The increased swelling associated with pregnancy can also contribute to the symptoms.

Treatment for De Quervain’s Tendonitis

Avoiding repetitive activities involving the affected thumb will allow the inflammation to subside. Some patients find relief by wearing a prescription brace that immobilizes the affected joint. In extreme cases, cortisone injections or even surgery may be recommended.

How New Parents Can Prevent De Quervain’s Tendonitis

  • Lift the child in a scooping fashion instead of using the wrists.
  • Change positions frequently when carrying the baby or while feeding.
  • Avoid clothing with lots of buttons or other fasteners that require the use of the thumbs.
  • When possible, use slings and strollers to carry or transport the child to limit the strain on the arms and wrists.
  • Open baby food jars with a hand-held or electric opener.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If the pain persists or worsens, be sure to consult one of LA Hand Surgeon’s qualified board-certified hand and plastic surgeons. Contact our office to schedule your consultation.