Cover image of the hand tendinitis article

hand tendinitis; Its problems and ways to solve them

Hand tendonitis is one of the common injuries our days due to the large number of wrong movements that we make using our hands in our daily tasks and while doing housework.

Hand tendonitis is common among mobile phone users, whose holding for long periods causes damage to the hand tendons. It is also common in women who do household tasks for a long time and take little rest. Follow us in this article to learn more about hand tendons, their problems, and ways to solve them.

Mechanism of hand tendinitis

Tendons are ropes that connect bones and muscles, while ligaments perform the function of connecting bones. Tendons contribute significantly to the movement of joints.

The tendons are surrounded by sheaths, which are fibrous membranes covered with a lubricating substance, and the synovial membrane, which provides ease of movement of the tendons. Thumb tendinitis.

Patterns of hand tendinitis

Two forms are considered among the most common examples of inflammation of the tendons of the hand, and they are:

  • Sheath de Quervain's tendonitis (inflammation of the thumb's tendon): Common in young mothers, this condition causes pain and swelling in the tendons of the wrist.
Image showing the location and location of de Quervain's tendon inflammation
The site of de Quervain's tendon inflammation
  • Trigger finger: It is most common in women, in which the thumb finger locks in on itself, and is sometimes associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
An image expressing the state of the trigger finger or the firing pin, and the stability of the finger in the bent position
trigger finger case

Other forms of hand tendonitis include:

  • Wrist tendinitis: pain in the tendons of the palm of the hand, with redness and inability to move the wrist, due to the tendons' injury.

Hand tendon pain can also manifest with one of these injuries that fall under arm tendinitis, including:

  1. Golfer's elbowPain in the medial (inner) side of the elbow, resulting from damage to the tendons of the flexor (grip) muscles of the hand.
  2. Tennis player's elbowPain in the lateral (external) aspect of the elbow, resulting from damage to the tendons of the extensor muscles of the hand.
Image showing extensor tendinitis, which corresponds to tennis elbow
Tennis elbow condition

Causes of hand tendonitis

The cause of inflammation of the tendons of the hand is often unknown. Still, despite this, there are some causes and habits that increase the possibility of fibrosis of the tendons of the hand or inflammation of the tendon sheath, including:

  • A previous hand or wrist sprain may predispose to tendinitis.
  • Excessive and stressful use of wrist and hand tendons, especially among homemakers or adolescents addicted to video games.
  • Injury or intense trauma to the wrist area.
  • Wrong movements while exercising (especially weightlifting).
  • Diabetic patients.
  • Patients withRheumatoid Arthritis.

Symptoms of hand tendonitis

There is no difference between the symptoms of right-hand tendonitis and left-hand tendonitis. People with hand tendonitis have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Continuous pain gradually increases if not treated.
  • Feeling of hand joints rubbing against each other, or hearing crackling and bone cracking while moving the joint.
  • Swelling around the affected area, as inflammation of the hand's tendons, can lead to fluid accumulation in the hand, which makes the injury site swell.
  • Difficulty bending a finger or all of the fingers (depending on the affected tendon) as a result of feeling the pain it causes. Over time, it develops into a complete inability to bend, and a weak ability to grasp things.
  • Numbness and tingling which is less common than other symptoms of hand tendonitis.
Image showing the location of the pain corresponding to hand tendonitis
Back hand tendonitis

Diagnosis of hand tendinitis

In the beginning, the patient’s clinical story is taken, and the patient is asked about the lifestyle he follows and the jobs he works in, as it is a significant factor in the occurrence of hand tendonitis, along with inquiring about the patient’s general condition and the presence of accompanying diseases. Then, the hand is examined by doctors and specialists, and its flexibility of movement is concerned. By clinical examination alone, it is possible to diagnose inflammation of the tendons of the hand, but doctors can request additional investigations to confirm the diagnosis or, in case of suspicion of the presence of accompanying injuries, which include:

  1. Puncture: Take a small amount of fluid collected around the inflamed tendons with a small needle and conduct implant tests on this fluid to investigate the presence of infection or gout.
  2. X-RAY: The tendons do not appear on the simple image, but an X-ray of the hand is required if the doctor suspects a fracture or dislocation associated with hand tendonitis.

Hand tendonitis treatment

Treatment for tendonitis in the hand focuses on reducing inflammation and pain. Treatment options include:

  • Take a sufficient amount of rest, especially resting the injured and inflamed hand, whose excessive use and wrong movements have led to inflammation.
  • Putting ice or cold compresses when you see swelling in the hand or hands.
  • Oral pain relievers such as aspirin or paracetamol reduce pain, especially night pain, that causes insomnia for the patient.
  • An ointment can be used to treat hand tendonitis, determined by the doctor after diagnosing the condition.
  • Herbal treatment of hand tendonitis.
  • Modifying activities that tire the sore hand, such as reducing writing or continuing exercise with a trainer specialized in appropriate positions, helps avoid increasing the injury to the hand.

Depending on the person's condition and the severity of the injury and inflammation of the hand's tendons, the doctor can specify different types of treatments than traditional treatments. He may suggest:

  • Surgical treatment: in the event of a complete rupture of the tendons and the ineffectiveness of traditional conservative treatment.
  • Cortisone injection, which is an anti-inflammatory drug.
  • Oral anti-inflammatories may be prescribed to reduce inflammation around the hand.
  • Using a splint to ensure that the hand does not move.
  • Prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control symptoms of the disease.
  • Physical rehabilitation therapy and special exercises restore normal movement if a splint is applied for an extended period or if the hand is not moved for a long time.

In conclusion, hand tendonitis is one of the common injuries currently caused by unhealthy habits that we do, and in most cases, it can be treated with simple home remedies.


  1. Nick Roselli Occupational Therapy
  2. The Christ Hospital

Common questions

Tendonitis in the hands can be cured by a simple home treatment that includes rest and cold compresses. If the inflammation does not improve and its problems increase, the doctor prescribes various pain relievers such as steroid injections. As for management by surgical treatment, they are in the more complicated cases.

A tendon or many tendons may become inflamed. The assessment of the seriousness of this inflammation is up to the doctor, but most injuries are minor.

Symptoms of tendon inflammation, such as redness, swelling, and hearing a bone crack with the inability to move the hand or fingers in the wrist or thumb area, help to identify and diagnose the injury.

Massage can relieve symptoms and pain, give relief to the injured, and help speed up the treatment of hand tendonitis.

Make an appointment with Dr. Çetin Işık
In Istanbul

Make an appointment with Dr. Çetin Işık
In Istanbul