Westchester Magazine suggests avoiding, or resting and stretching between, repetitive thumb motions such as knitting, cleaning, sports motions or texting to prevent tendonitis of the thumb. If the symptoms of tendonitis appear in the thumb, avoid or limit aggravating activities and apply a cold pack for periods of five to 15 minutes throughout the day.
Tendonitis of the thumb, also called de Quervain's syndrome, is common in people who constantly use their hands in repetitive motions, according to Westchester Magazine. It can also be a result of direct trauma to the thumb or sudden incorrect lifting. It is sometimes associated with diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and hypothyroidism.
According to Westchester Magazine, common symptoms of de Quervain's syndrome include pain and swelling near the base of the thumb, tenderness above the wrist, difficulty gripping, pinching or squeezing, difficulty moving the wrist side to side and restricted movement in the thumb or wrist. Treatment for the syndrome involves anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. A doctor may recommend a steroid injection depending on the severity of the case. Occupational therapy by a hand therapist is also used to treat de Quervain's syndrome. A therapist may suggest a custom-fitted brace that rests the thumb and helps reduce the inflammation. Therapy can prevent further damage and ease daily living.