Treatment and Exercises for De Quervain’s

There’s a natural process that occurs with any type of injury, whether that’s from trauma or repetitive overuse. Injury creates inflammation and inflammation creates adhesions within the soft tissues. Inflammation triggers the cells of the body to come in and repair the area. 

The side effect of cleaning up the area is that muscles that typically slide and glide back and forth now get stuck together, adhesions are created, and range of motion is lost. One of the best ways to address these adhesions is with hands-on manual therapy. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis falls within the overuse category and will see the benefits of various manual therapy methods. 

Active Release Technique is a great way to treat conditions like De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. It’s a technique used to specifically locate and treat adhesions that develop within the soft tissues while going through a range of motion. In doing so, range of motion will improve and pain levels will decrease. 

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization is another great way to break up the adhesions found with these types of inflammatory conditions. Different tools can be used for different purposes, whether that be treating the big, bulky muscles of the forearm or the small tendons that cross the wrist and attach to the thumb. 

There are many different methods of treatment, however, it’s crucial that the soft-tissue adhesions and restrictions are addressed. If symptoms are severe initially, it may be best to ice and avoid provoking movements. As symptoms become more tolerable, more treatment, stretching, and strengthening exercises can be incorporated. 


Dr. Ryan Donahue was born and raised in Sioux City, IA. He attended the University of Iowa where he received a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Physiology before graduating Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern Health Sciences University as a Doctor of Chiropractic. Dr. Donahue is a Certified Provider of Active Release Technique, RockTape kinesiology tape, and SMART Tools (Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization). He has also had extensive post graduate training in various treatment and rehabilitation approaches that include McKenzie Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy and Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS).

Social tagging: > > > > >

Leave a Reply