Bits of healthful information to easily incorporate into your life…
Good health to you!
Our hands are a wonderful gift. A spectacular design. You need to use them in order to keep them healthy, but like any valuable tool, they need thoughtful maintenance.
Many things you do with your hands, can potentially cause them physical stress. This stress left unchecked, can cause injury to your fingers, hands and wrists. Eventually your forearms and elbows can become affected.
Think of your hands in regards to repetitive movements, extremes in flexion and extension, exertion against weight or pressure. For example are you: (a very short list)
On the computer
A writer or an artist
A knitter or needleworker
A baker or cook
Lifting heavy weights
How do YOU use YOUR hands?
Simple maintenance suggestions…
Choose a couple of options that feel good to you:
1- Cold relieves inflammation. Physical stress can cause inflammation. Every time you wash your hands finish up with a cold water rinse being sure to include your wrists. Rinse for 10-15 seconds or longer if it feels good. If you have a condition such as arthritis or Raynaud’s syndrome, cold may not be a good suggestion. First check with your doctor if you have a condition that you are unsure about.
2- Use a bolster for support. Be conscious of your joint position while you do what you do. You may be able to use a bolster to support your wrists so they are in a more neutral position. Perhaps put a pillow under your forearm and elbow. Can you make the handle of what you are gripping a bit bulkier so your fingers aren’t so tightly closed? It may take some creative thinking on your part. For suggestions on helping your hands/wrists while on the computer see my blog post The Laptop Dilemma. What to do, what to do?
3- Rest your joints in a neutral position. Take frequent breaks and gently undulate your fingers, wrists and elbows for a few seconds. As described in my blog post Undulate! A Perfect Way To Start Your Day
4- Be careful of how you lift. Don’t lift anything that is too heavy for a single joint. For example, be kind to your fingers by not grasping the loops of heavy grocery bags with just a finger or two. Spread the weight out. Straining your fingers can result in Trigger Finger, that’s not fun.
5- A wrist brace can be very helpful. Unless your doctor recommends otherwise, I don’t suggest wearing a brace all of the time because, not using those muscles for long periods, will make them weak. After long days of giving massages, I have had good success using wrist braces just while driving and while sleeping. When we sleep, we are not aware of how much we twist and put pressure on our wrists. They are very vulnerable joints. IMPORTANT: If you choose to try a wrist brace, get one that has a wrist splint incorporated into it. The splint holds your wrist in the neutral position, reducing the strain on your tendons.
Appreciate your hands. Don’t take them for granted.
I would enjoy hearing about any solutions you may come up with. Please share in the comment section below :)
Good health to you!
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