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Wrist Tendonitis

woman holding her wrist

Tendonitis of the wrist is a common condition that may occur due to repetitive use, overuse, or even from an acute injury. The most common type of wrist tendonitis involves the two tendons along the back and outside of your wrist, which help to lift your thumb, called DeQuervain’s Tendonitis.

Causes and risk factors

  • Females are more susceptible than men
  • Dominant hand
  • New mothers
  • Repetitive use
  • Racquet/club sports


  • Burning pain
  • Sharp pain with use
  • Swelling
  • Occasional clicking/popping with use

Diagnosis and treatment

In most cases, the diagnosis can be made based on a physical exam and x-rays are often not needed. Treatment is tailored to each patient, depending on duration and severity of symptoms, as well as previous treatment. The following nonsurgical treatment options can be effective. Most cases resolve with nonsurgical treatment, but your doctor may discuss surgery with you if the following treatments do not provide relief.

  • Activity modification
  • Bracing/splinting
  • Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen, naproxen)
  • Topical pain relief creams/gels
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Prescription anti-inflammatory medications