One common problem is inflammation of the tendons of the thumb.

De Quervain's Tendosynovitis is inflammation of the sheath ( the synovium ) that surrounds the 2 tendons that are involved in moving the thumb.

The tendons run between the wrist and the thumb. There is obvious swelling and thickening of the sheath and it becomes very painful to move the thumb.

In many cases the causes are unknown. It is more common in women, particularly after pregnancy. Overuse of the tendon and repetitive movements used at work, or in a sport, are likely to make the pain worse.

Symptoms are pain and swelling near the base of the thumb. Movements involving the thumb and wrist such as pinching or grasping or wringing, make the pain worse too.

Physiotherapy can help to stretch and strengthen the area and relieve the pain.

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