[ASK RON] What Helps a Painful Swelling on Wrist?

Dear Ron,

I was pruning my garden this week and I think the repetitive stress of it has left a painful swelling along the side of my wrist, under the base of my thumb. What is it, and can you suggest anything to help?

Thank you kindly…


Hi Marie,

Thanks for getting in touch. I’m sorry to hear about your hand pain. Injuries that this can be so frustrating and uncomfortable, since we use our hands all the time!

Of course it should be said that I’m not a doctor and cannot advise you on the exact nature of the injury, but it sounds like it might be De Quervain’s Syndrome, an inflammation of the fluid-filled sheath around the two tendons which control the movement of the thumb away from the hand. Symptoms usually noted are pain, tenderness, and swelling over the thumb side of the wrist, as well as difficulty gripping. It’s noted that repeated use of hand tools can precede the condition, as well as arthritis or injury. Check with your Doctor to make sure you treat it properly.

pain relief supports IMAK smart Thumb flexible stabilizerTo help support your hand while it’s recovering and to prevent further injury, you could try a hand support like our IMAK Smart Thumb Flexible Stabilizer Glove. The dual-splints which support the thumb should prevent strain from repetitive actions like pruning with shears.

To prevent further injury, I suggest you try getting shears which have a self-opening mechanism, like these Alan Titchmarsh Anvil Shears. Another company that sells specific tools to assist Arthritis suffered in certain tasks are Peta (UK) Ltd. They do a wide range of Garden tools, but no garden shears. They do, however, offer Kitchen shears, though I don’t know if they are up to the task of pruning.

I sincerely hope this helps ease your pain – take care, Marie!

Best Regards,


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