Smartphone users...if you are using your phone 5+ hours per day, hand and wrist pain can increase by 42%! Why? Repetitive use aggravates muscles and tendons, places pressure on nerves, and can cause inflammation. Plus, you may rarely take the time to stretch and stay hydrated.
Any job, hobby, or task that calls for non-stop manipulation of the hands, wrist, and fingers places you at risk for injury (think gaming, coding, data entry, waiting tables, labor jobs, even crochet, painting, playing an instrument, writing, etc.). Your hands are intricate and complex. Did you realize that most of the muscles that move the hand are located in the forearm? This is why hand pain radiates up through the arm. Incorporate one or more of these tips to keep your hands and wrists in good shape!
- Ice bath - while working as a massage therapist I often soaked my hands and forearms in cold water at the end of a long day. Athletes also use this technique to reduce swelling and manage pain.
- Stretch breaks - wiggle your fingers and splay your hands widely as shown in the picture below. I worked for the postal service in data entry at one time - our breaks were mandatory to relieve tension and reduce risk of injury. Rotate your hands at the wrist and give them a light shake at least once per hour.
- Self-massage - We wash our hands regularly and most of us use lotion. Take an extra minute or two during these daily tasks to give yourself a well deserved hand massage.
- Acupressure points - Over did it and hands aching? Try these pressure points to relieve tension.
Be Well! ~ Tiffany