What is tenosynovitis?

Wrist and hand pain is due to tenosynovitis. The tendon is a fibrous tissue that connects the muscles to the bones. They are also responsible for controlling actions such as lifting, jumping and running. A protective sheath or synovium enclose the tendons that produces synovial fluid for lubrication. Any injury to this area can cause damage to the synovium. Once this occurs, the sheath will no longer produce synovial fluid or produce less. As a result, it causes the swelling or inflammation of the synovium or tenosynovitis or tendon sheath inflammation.


Take note that tenosynovitis is due to injuries to the tendon or the surrounding bone or muscle. This condition not only occurs among athletes but also among individuals who engage in repetitive-motion activities. The condition is quite common in the tendons of the hands, wrist and feet. The following are the common causes:

  • Prolonged activities
  • Repetitive activities
  • Strain
  • Standing in a single position for extended periods
  • Injuries

It can also be caused by underlying conditions such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, gonorrhea and diabetes. In some cases, the doctor could not determine the exact cause of the condition.

How to determine if the pain is due to tenosynovitis


Tenosynovitis is characterized by pain and swelling in the affected joint.

There are certain tendons in the body that are prone to injury, especially those in the feet, hands and wrists. Nevertheless, it can still occur in any tendon in the body including the knee, shoulder and elbow. Once this condition develops, the following symptoms are likely to manifest:

  • Swelling in the joint
  • Joint stiffness that causes immobility
  • Tenderness and pain in the joint


The treatment centers on minimizing the pain and inflammation. Enrolling in a first aid course will surely help out a lot in similar conditions and injuries. Initially, you have to instruct the individual to rest the affected area and avoid any activities that caused the initial injury. In most cases, the doctor can recommend a splint or brace in order to immobilize the affected area. You should also apply an ice pack or heating pad to minimize the swelling and pain.

The doctor recommends other treatment options such as massage, ultrasound, stretching of the affected area and electrical nerve stimulation. In addition, the doctor also prescribes medications. Use over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen.

In case the condition is due to an underlying health condition such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis, the treatment will include medications to treat these conditions. The moment the affected tendon has fully healed, exercise or physical therapy is recommended in order to strengthen the muscle. Strengthening of the muscles will protect the tendon from injury in the future. If the condition frequently occurs, the doctor might recommend surgical intervention to correct the issue.


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