The Power of Dry Needling for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

I am a big believer that dry needling is the most effective tool at reducing pain and restoring range of motion. And it’s not just temporary relief, results can and often are long lasting. I’ve found Dry Needling for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis to be the best treatment available.

Yesderday I had a follow up with a stubborn De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis case. She had DQT following the birth of her little baby girl and was now having trouble even holding her because the pain was so bad.

Orthopedic doc gave her 2 steroid injections and she was still in horrible pain 3 months later.

So she shows up at my office about a month ago and I did a comprehensive assessment of her thumb, elbow, shoulder and neck to make sure we weren’t missing anything. Sadly, no other doc she has been to had done any kind of physical assessment.

I have been doing dry needling for close to 10 years, and am one of the most experienced dry needling practitioners in Florida. After >30,000 treatments I have seen just how effective and consistent dry needling is for even the most stubborn cases.

There are 2 main targets that need to be treated when you have De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. This is why most cortisone steroid injections are ineffective. They are often times placed in the wrong spot, so the don’t work. Worse off, steroid injections are proven to create more arthritis and degeneration long term. They might provide some short term relief but can be so damaging to tissue.

A better option than steroid injections – dry needling for De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis

I simply needled the Extensor pollicis breves & Abductor pollicis longus – two muscles that help your thumb to move. The tendon on these muscles gets overloaded and mad.

Patients don’t realize that the pain is being provoked by their daily habits and that those habits have never been an issue until now. It is cumulative stress and the weakest link is where a lot of injuries manifest.

In this case it was how she was picking up and holding her baby. So I used dry needling to create a healing response at the tendon and give her body a second chance at healing.

When I needle my goal is to reproduce their discomfort with a heavy, achey feeling. That means we were right on the pain generating tissue(s). There’s normally multiple areas that need to be addressed to have a great healing response.

We were planning on weekly visits but her and the baby got sick, so I haven’t seen her for 3 weeks. But the good news is that she was relatively pain free for the whole period of time. And I wasn’t shocked – I’ve seen this happen countless times.

If you have a case of De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis then dry needling is an excellent alternative to destructive steroid injections. This case was an outlier – most people should expect to need a series of treatments (done weekly) to resolve your pain.

Picture of Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson, DACM

Dr. Josh Hanson specializes in treating chronic pain and providing fertility support. He has performed 40,000+ procedures over the last 10+ years. Dr. Hanson has a clinic in Tampa, FL where patients travel from all over Florida to receive cutting edge care.

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