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De Quervain's Disease: Exercises


Here are some examples of exercises for you to try. The exercises may be suggested for a condition or for rehabilitation. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercises if you start to have pain.

You will be told when to start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Thumb lifts

Photo of thumb lift exercise
slide 1 of 4
slide 1 of 4, Thumb lifts,
  1. Place your hand on a flat surface, with your palm up.
  2. Lift your thumb away from your palm to make a "C" shape.
  3. Hold for about 6 seconds.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Passive thumb MP flexion

Photo of using your other hand to stretch your thumb
slide 2 of 4
slide 2 of 4, Passive thumb MP flexion,
  1. Hold your hand in front of you, and turn your hand so your little finger faces down and your thumb faces up. (Your hand should be in the position used for shaking someone's hand.) You may also rest your hand on a flat surface.
  2. Use the fingers on your other hand to bend your thumb down at the point where your thumb connects to your palm.
  3. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Finkelstein stretch

slide 3 of 4
slide 3 of 4, Finkelstein stretch,
  1. Hold your arms out in front of you. (Your hand should be in the position used for shaking someone's hand.)
  2. Bend your thumb toward your palm.
  3. Use your other hand to gently stretch your thumb and wrist downward until you feel a stretch on the thumb side of your wrist.
  4. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.
  6. It's a good idea to repeat these steps with your other wrist.

Resisted ulnar deviation

Photo of resisted ulnar stretch
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slide 4 of 4, Resisted ulnar deviation,

For this exercise, you will need elastic exercise material, such as surgical tubing or Thera-Band.

  1. Sit leaning forward with your legs slightly spread and your elbow on your thigh.
  2. Grasp one end of the band with your palm down, and step on the other end with the foot opposite the hand holding the band.
  3. Slowly bend your wrist sideways and away from your knee.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

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