A couple of months back I was suffering with tendonitis in my left hand. Thankfully I’m right handed so it could have been worse, but it is surprising how often you use your ‘other hand’, so to speak.

Having been for two physio appointments and been given two sets of exercises to do, I’ve managed to vastly reduce the painful symptoms I’d been having. Writing doesn’t seem to affect it, but I guess overuse will always be a problem. I have to stretch the muscles in my hand (I have De Quervain’s tendonitis, otherwise known as washer woman’s thumb, which made my partner laugh – can’t think why), so I get back the proper degree of use in my thumb.

It’s been interesting, with regular cold compresses, stretching, strengthening and so on, but I’m getting there. A while back I couldn’t have slept without wearing a thumb brace because it would wake me up at night if I happened to bend it or roll on it. Now I can do without it unless I’ve been doing a lot to warrant wearing it. Like for example six weeks or so ago we decided to take ten days off work to redecorate the bedroom top to bottom. So between clearing out the room, moving furniture, decorating, making new furniture and getting the room finished, I really put my thumb through its paces. It did ache and it felt uncomfortable at times but it didn’t set me back anywhere near as much as I thought it would.

So if you’ve got washer woman’s thumb (regardless of how much washing you’ve been doing…) don’t give up. Do the physio, persevere with the exercises and you might be surprised how much improvement you see over time. Patience, as I learned, really can be a virtue.

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