October 20, 2020

How do you get tendonitis in your hand?

Hand, Wrist and Elbow


If your hand begins to hurt around your thumb or wrist, you may have tendonitis of the hand. Repetitive activities involving your hand and wrist often cause this irritation and inflammation of the tendons in your hand.

Hand Anatomy

The hand is made up of bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons. Tendons are flexible, tough bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. When tendons in your hand become inflamed, torn or irritated, the condition is referred to as tendonitis. 

What causes tendon pain in your hands?

Overusing your hand and wrist is the most common cause of tendonitis in the hand.. Using your hand too much for athletics, daily activities or writing is an easy way to get an overuse injury.

Other causes include:

Relieve pain from hand, wrist or elbow injuries

What are the symptoms of tendonitis in the hand?

Hand tendonitis makes movements like making a fist, turning your wrist or grasping objects very painful. Pain and swelling at the base of the thumb are the two most common tendonitis of the hand symptoms, caused by tendon inflammation.

Other common symptoms include:

  • A “snapping” or catching sensation when moving your hand
  • Small lump or fluid-filled cyst at the base of your thumb
  • Tender or warm to the touch
  • Difficulty moving your hand and wrist

If daily tasks like lifting a coffee mug or peeling potatoes are difficult for you, it may be time to see a hand and wrist specialist.

How to get rid of tendonitis in the hand

To determine whether you have tendonitis of the hand, your hand and wrist doctor will ask you for a complete medical history, have you describe your symptoms and conduct a physical examination. An X-ray or MRI may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis and determine if there are other problems.


What is tendonitis hand treatment?

Reducing pain and inflammation is the number one priority when treating tendonitis of the hand. Once your inflammation lessens, your pain and the other symptoms will go away naturally. 

If your injury is from overuse, reduce your activity level for the activity causing your pain. Follow your physician’s non-operative treatment options to reduce your pain and inflammation within a few weeks.

Your non-operative pain management physician may recommend treatments like:

  • Anti-inflammatory and pain medication
  • Cortisone injection
  • Modified physical activities
  • Rest
  • Cold compress
  • Wearing a wrist splint
  • Physical therapy exercises
  • Hand and wrist stretches

If your symptoms don’t improve with non-operative treatments or physical therapy exercises for hand tendonitis, and your tendonitis is severe, your condition may require surgery. This surgery will release tight tendon areas and remove inflamed tissues, so your tendon won’t “catch” and it moves more freely.

Schedule an appointment 

Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000

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