One of the primary coverages for our business clients who have employees is Workers Compensation Insurance. And a frequent claim experienced by those employees is repetitive strain injury in the hands.
It’s not always work related. It can also happen to people as a result of a hobby. Any activity where you use your hands can cause strain. The reason is the incredible complexity of the hands. This interplay of elaborate systems of nerves, muscles, tendons, and bones allow us to work at a computer, use tools, and play the piano.
Symptoms of strain include pain, swelling, tingling, numbness, stiffness, weakness, and sensitivity to cold or heat. How can you help prevent strain to your hands? Here are some suggestions you can start implementing today.
How To Be Easier On Your Hands
- Reduce the force your use to perform tasks: For example, when working at the computer, many people pound away at the keys. Or they grip their tools tighter than necessary. Try a softer touch.
- Take a break: Every hour or so stop work for a few minutes and stretch and bend the hands. This is important if you use equipment that vibrates or requires a great amount of force. You can stretch by making a fist and slide your fingers up until they point straight out. Or fan your fingers out and stretch them as far as you can. Repeat 5-10 times.
- Stay straight: When working, keep your wrist in a straight or neutral position. Stay relaxed and avoid bending your wrist all the way up or down.
- Sit up: Rolling your shoulders forward as you sit shortens your neck and shoulder muscles and makes wrist, fingers, and hand problems worse.
- Get the right mouse: Make sure your computer mouse is comfortable and doesn’t take too much pressure to move around.
- Keep your hands warm: Pain and stiffness in your hands occurs more often in cold environments. If you must tap away at the keyboard or use tools when it’s cold, it will help to use fingerless gloves to keep your hand warm.
Whether you develop tendonitis or even carpal tunnel syndrome depends on a myriad of factors. The anatomy of your wrist, nerve-damaging conditions, inflammatory conditions, obesity, and your sex all play a part in determining your susceptibility to strain in your hands.
Obviously, if you do suffer some pain from repetitive strain, see a doctor before it becomes severe. But we hope that the simple, easy tips above will help you avoid annoying pain in a very important part of your body…the hands.
By the way, we got the tips mentioned above from the websites at the Mayo Clinic and WebMD. We strongly suggest you take a look at these pages to find out more about hand maintenance. We think you’ll be glad you did!
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your Utica area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.