What is Tenosynovitis?

21 August 2017

Tenosynovitis is a painful condition in itself, but if left untreated your tendons may narrow abnormally. This can lead to further pain and weakness in the area. As such, it's important that you understand tenosynovitis so you can treated it properly. At Wrist Supports, we've created a guide with all the information you need to prevent the condition from occurring.

What is Tenosynovitis?

Tenosynovitis is when the sheath surrounding a tendon becomes inflamed. Inflammation of the sheath can appear on your thumb, in which case it would be classified as "de Quervain's tenosynovitis," or else the middle or fourth finger, which would be referred to as "trigger finger tenosynovitis". Tenosynovitis usually affects middle aged women but statistics show that cases of the condition have dropped significantly in the past 20 years.

Causes of the Condition

The most common cause of tenosynovitis is performing the repetitive movements typically associated with sports, manual labour, office work, and other occupations or pastimes. However, repetitive movements aren't the only risk factor causing the condition; tenosynovitis can either be infectious or non-infectious depending on how it occurs. Other causes include the following:

  • Previous injury
  • Wound to skin over tendon
  • Infected bloodstream
  • Certain conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis
  • Animal bites
  • IV drug use
  • Exposure to fresh or salt water

Signs and Symptoms

As there are different types of tenosynovitis, you might experience different symptoms according to the form of tenosynovitis you're suffering from. The most common symptoms you'll experience for tenosynovitis include the following:

  • Pain when moving the joint
  • Difficulty moving the joint
  • Aching or swollen joint
  • Tenderness or stiffness in the area
  • Shooting pains in the arm
  • Affected tendon becomes red along its length
  • Difficulty when trying to grip objects

How Do I Treat Tenosynovitis?

There are a number of different treatment options that can be used for the condition, though how effective each will be depends on the individual. Once you've been diagnosed, you might have to try a range of treatments before one works. For those who have contracted the infectious type of tenosynovitis, you'll likely be given a course of antibiotics to clear up the virus. Treatment options for the non-infectious version of tenosynovitis revolve around attempting to reduce pain and inflammation and include:

  • Wearing a splint or removable brace to keep the tendons still
  • Resting the tendons and trying not to use them too much
  • Physical or occupational therapy to reduce pain and tenderness
  • Applying hot or cold therapies to the inflamed area
  • Taking anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Steroid injection to decrease inflammation along the sheath
  • Strengthening exercises to reduce the likelihood of the condition returning
  • In rare cases, surgery might be performed to reduce inflammation

Tenosynovitis at Wrist Supports

Owing to the long tendons found in your wrist and hands, these are two of the most common areas where the condition is likely to strike. At Wrist Supports, we firmly believe that resting and stabilising the joint can help treat the condition. We've found a range of wrist supports designed specifically for tenosynovitis to help you recover without experiencing instability or pain. Click the button below to view our tenosynovitis range!


Do you have a question to ask or something to add? Why not leave us a comment below or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Call us now: 020 7501 0590 Mon - Fri / 9:00am - 5:00pm
Wrist Supports
0 items - £0.00View Basket


on orders of £40 and over.


Read our reviews.


with our 30 day returns policy.