De Quervain's tenosynovitis is a condition that causes pain associated with the movement of the thumb and wrist. The cause of the pain of de Quervain's is inflammation within a confined area around the base of the thumb. This inflammation is caused by a tendon problem called stenosing tenosynovitis.1 This means that the tendons at the base of the thumb become irritated as a result of repetitive stress causing damage to these tendons and resulting inflammation.
This condition was named after Dr. Felix de Quervain, a Swiss physician who described this condition in the late 1800s.2 Since that time, much has been learned about the cause of this condition and the various ways to treat this problem. Because of some of the causes of this type of tendinitis, some people refer to this condition by different names. Sometimes the problem is called de Quervain's tendinosis, de Quervain's disease, texting thumb, gamer's thumb, or new mother's thumb.