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  • Writer's pictureJustin Prenioslo

Comparing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and De Quervain's Tenosynovitis for Moms

As a mom, the repetitive tasks of lifting, carrying, and caring for your child can take a toll on your wrists and hands. Two common conditions that moms may experience are Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and De Quervain's Tenosynovitis (DQT). While both conditions affect the wrist, they have different causes, symptoms, and treatments. Understanding the differences between them can help you seek the appropriate care and relief.


What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway in the wrist. This compression can result from repetitive hand movements, wrist position, or swelling.

Picture of a hand describing how carpel tunnel can affect a wrist and how physiotherapy can help

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Numbness, tingling, or pain in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers

  • Weakness in the hand and difficulty gripping objects

  • Pain that may radiate up the arm


What is De Quervain's Tenosynovitis?

De Quervain's Tenosynovitis affects the tendons on the thumb side of the wrist. The repetitive lifting and carrying of your child can cause inflammation of these tendons, leading to pain and difficulty in moving your thumb and wrist.

Picture of a wrist describing the tendons affected with De Quervain Syndrome and physiotherapy can help

Symptoms of De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

  • Pain and swelling near the base of your thumb

  • Difficulty moving your thumb and wrist, especially during grasping or pinching

  • A sticking or stop-and-go sensation in your thumb





Key Differences Between Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and De Quervain's Tenosynovitis

  • Location of Pain:

  • CTS: Affects the palm side of the wrist and can radiate into the fingers and up the arm.

  • DQT: Affects the thumb side of the wrist and base of the thumb.

  • Type of Pain:

  • CTS: Numbness, tingling, and pain, particularly in the fingers.

  • DQT: Pain and swelling near the base of the thumb, often worsened by thumb and wrist movements.

  • Activities that Aggravate:

  • CTS: Repetitive hand and wrist motions, especially those that involve gripping or flexing the wrist.

  • DQT: Lifting, carrying, and holding objects, particularly using the thumb.

How In-Home Physiotherapy Can Help

Both conditions can benefit from physiotherapy, especially when it is delivered in the comfort of your home. In-home physiotherapy can provide personalized assessment and treatment, tailored to your daily activities and environment.

For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

  • Wrist splinting to keep the wrist in a neutral position

  • Nerve gliding exercises to improve nerve mobility

  • Strengthening exercises for the hand and forearm

For De Quervain's Tenosynovitis:

  • Exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles around the affected tendons

  • Ergonomic advice for lifting and carrying your child

  • Pain management strategies like massage and stretching


Contact Stork Mobile Physiotherapy

At Stork Mobile Physiotherapy, we specialize in providing comprehensive care for both Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and De Quervain's Tenosynovitis. Our in-home physiotherapy services allow you to receive the treatment you need without the stress of traveling to a clinic. Schedule your appointment online here or contact us at 587-606-2291.


Understanding the differences between Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and De Quervain's Tenosynovitis can help you manage your symptoms effectively. Reach out to Stork Mobile Physiotherapy for expert guidance and personalized care in the comfort of your home.

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