Daily Archives: October 30, 2019

de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis and BJJ

Lately I’ve been experiencing pain in and around the base of my thumb, which according to a nurse that trains with us (and the internet, or course), it seems that I have tendonitis in the thumb (which, interesting fact, it’s also spelled tendinitis, but just looks weird to me and the other spelling is also acceptable, so I’m leaning into spelling it as ‘tendonitis’).

Tendonitis in the thumb or the fancier name it goes by, de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis (try to say that 5 times fast) is “A painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. The main symptoms are pain and tenderness in the wrist, often below the base of the thumb.” It can occur as a result of multiple things, but repetitive motion is on the list, which after 13 years of jiu jitsu frankly I’m surprised it hasn’t been a problem before now. 

So how do treat it? Well it should be getting rest, and ice, and some ibuprofen. And since I’m stubborn, I’m still training but I’ve been wrapping my hand in a bandage and attempting not to over exert my hand/wrist. Which, that means not going for as many chokes. Which makes me a little sad if we’re being totally honest.

If it’s really that bad, a splint is also an option to immobilize the thumb. Personally, it’s not a great option for me because it’s my left hand, and I’m left handed… One of the most sinister things about me, really. And if you got that joke then good job, nerd 😉

So, that’s it really. If you have tendonitis in your thumb and it’s not super serious, don’t panic, let it rest, put some ice on it and take some ibuprofen for a couple of days. And as always, if it’s serious enough or is getting worse, then you probably should consult a medical professional to talk about more intensive treatment and next steps.

Have a great day everyone!

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