Tendinitis, the inflammation or irritation of a tendon, is a common source of hand and wrist pain, affecting individuals across various age groups and occupations. The condition often results from repetitive movements, overuse, or strain, causing discomfort and hindering daily tasks. 

In this comprehensive guide, we examine the causes, symptoms, and treatment strategies for tendinitis impacting the hand and wrist. Our focus will be on the most prevalent forms of tendinitis, such as De Quervain’s tenosynovitis and trigger finger. Understanding the underlying factors contributing to tendinitis, recognizing the early indicators, and accessing expert intervention can help prevent chronic pain, permanent damage, and the requirement for surgical intervention.

The hand surgeons at North Florida Hand and Wrist offer a wide array of treatment options for tendinitis, ranging from conservative management techniques to advanced surgical procedures for severe cases. Each treatment plan is tailored to the patient’s specific condition, severity, and individual circumstances to ensure the best possible outcome.

In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the world of tendinitis in the hand and wrist, empowering you with knowledge about its intricacies, effective treatment options, and prevention strategies. Trust the team of experts at North Florida Hand and Wrist to provide the care and solutions you require to achieve a healthy, pain-free future.

Unravelling Tendinitis: Common Types and Underlying Causes

Tendinitis in the hand and wrist can manifest in various forms. The most common types of tendinitis affecting the hand and wrist include:

  1. De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis: Affecting the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist, this condition is characterized by pain and swelling at the base of the thumb. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is often triggered by repetitive thumb and wrist movements or overuse.
  2. Trigger Finger: Also known as stenosing tenosynovitis, this condition is characterized by pain, stiffness, and locking or catching sensation in one or more fingers. Trigger finger typically occurs due to repetitive finger movements or prolonged gripping.

The primary causes of hand and wrist tendinitis remain similar across types, including:

  1. Repetitive Motion or Overuse: Repeated movements or strain on the tendons can lead to inflammation or irritation.
  2. Injury or Trauma: An impact or sudden force on the tendons may result in tendinitis.
  3. Age: Tendons tend to lose elasticity and become more prone to injury with increasing age.
  4. Occupation or Hobbies: Jobs or activities involving repetitive hand and wrist movements, such as typing, playing instruments, or assembly work, may increase the risk of developing tendinitis.

Identifying Tendinitis: Signs and Symptoms

Recognizing the early signs and symptoms of tendinitis is crucial for timely intervention and successful treatment. Common indicators of tendinitis in the hand and wrist include:

  1. Pain or discomfort in the affected area.
  2. Swelling, redness, or warmth around the joint.
  3. Stiffness or limited range of motion.
  4. Tenderness when touched or pressed.
  5. Locking or catching sensation in the fingers, especially in the case of trigger finger.

When you notice these symptoms, seeking professional help from a hand and wrist specialist at North Florida Hand and Wrist is essential for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Exploring Treatment Possibilities: Finding the Right Path

At North Florida Hand and Wrist, our experts offer a variety of treatment options for tendinitis, customized to your specific condition and needs. Typical treatment methods include:

  1. Conservative Measures: Initially, your hand and wrist specialist may recommend non-surgical treatments to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation:

– Rest and activity modification to avoid further strain on the tendons.

– Over-the-counter or prescription medication for pain relief and inflammation reduction.

– Applying ice or heat to the affected area for symptom relief.

– Wearing a splint or brace to immobilize and support the joint.

– Physical or occupational therapy to strengthen muscles and promote recovery.

  1. Injections: Corticosteroid injections may be recommended for patients who do not respond well to conservative treatments. These injections can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation in the affected tendon.
  2. Surgical Intervention: For patients experiencing severe or chronic tendinitis, surgery may be considered as a last resort. Depending on the type of tendinitis and its severity, surgical procedures may include:

– Tendon Release Surgery: This procedure involves making a small incision in the affected tendon to release pressure, alleviate pain, and restore hand and wrist function.

– Tendon Repair Surgery: For cases involving significant tendon damage, your hand and wrist specialist may perform a procedure to repair the affected tendon and restore its function.

Post-Treatment Considerations: Maintaining a Tendinitis-Free Life

Once your tendinitis symptoms have been effectively managed, it is crucial to take preventative measures to avoid future occurrences. Recommendations for maintaining a life free from tendinitis include:

  1. Engaging in regular hand and wrist exercises to strengthen muscles and enhance flexibility.
  2. Taking breaks and adjusting your posture during activities involving repetitive hand and wrist movements.
  3. Regularly applying ice or heat to alleviate inflammation and discomfort after strenuous activities.
  4. Wearing appropriate protective gear during sports or activities that may cause tendon strain.


Tendinitis is a common condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort in the hand and wrist. It is often caused by repetitive movements, overuse, or strain and can be effectively managed through a variety of treatment options. Through a combination of conservative measures, injections, and surgical intervention, patients can achieve pain relief and restore hand and wrist function. Additionally, taking preventative measures, such as engaging in regular hand and wrist exercises and wearing appropriate protective gear, can help prevent future occurrences of tendinitis.

At the North Florida Hand and Wrist Center, experienced orthopedic hand specialists Dr. Richard D. Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez are devoted to helping patients overcome tendinitis and regain optimum hand functionality. Our state-of-the-art facility is equipped with the latest diagnostic tools and treatment methods tailored to address your unique needs and restore your pain-free life. Trust their skill, knowledge, and compassion to help you regain your hand and wrist health and function, allowing you to embrace a bright, pain-free future. Contact us today!