Finger, Hand, and Wrist Injuries
Finger, Hand, and Wrist Injuries
The following tips may prevent finger,
hand, and wrist injuries.
- Do exercises that strengthen your hand and arm
- Learn safe hand and wrist movements to avoid an injury.
- Reduce the speed and force of repetitive
movements in activities such as hammering, typing, knitting, quilting,
sweeping, raking, playing racquet sports, or rowing.
positions when you hold objects, such as a book or playing cards, for any length
- Use your whole hand to grasp an object. Gripping with only
your thumb and index finger can stress your wrist.
- Consider wearing
gloves that support the wrist and have vibration-absorbing padding when working
with tools that vibrate.
- Use safety measures, such as gloves, and
follow instructions for the proper use of hand and power tools.
caution when using knives in preparing food or craft activities. Supervise a
child using knives or sharp scissors in craft activities.
protective gear, such as wrist guards, in sports activities. Be sure to learn what you can do to help prevent injuries for your child too.
your work posture and body mechanics.
- Organize your work so that you can change
your position occasionally while maintaining a comfortable
- Position your work so you do not have to turn excessively
to either side.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed when your arms are
hanging by your sides.
- When using a keyboard, keep your forearms
parallel to the floor or slightly lowered, and keep your fingers lower than your
wrists. Allow your arms and hands to move freely. Take frequent breaks to
stretch your fingers, hands, wrist, shoulders, and neck. If you use a wrist pad
during breaks from typing, it's best to rest your palm or the heel of your hand
on the support, rather than your wrist.
General prevention tips
- Wear your seat belt in a motor
- Don't carry objects that are too heavy.
- Use a
step stool. Do not stand on chairs or other unsteady objects.
protective gear during sports or recreational activities, such as
roller-skating or soccer. Supportive splints, such as wrist guards, may reduce
your risk for injury.
- Warm up well and stretch before any activity.
Stretch after exercise to keep hot muscles from shortening and
- Use the correct techniques (movements) or positions
during activities so that you do not strain your muscles.
overusing your hand and wrist doing repeated movements that can injure your
bursa or tendon. In daily routines or hobbies, examine
activities in which you make repeated arm movements.
taking lessons to learn the proper techniques for sports. Have a trainer or
person who is familiar with sports equipment check your equipment to see if it
is well-suited for your level of ability, body size, and body
- If you feel that certain activities at your workplace are
causing pain or soreness from overuse, talk to your human resources department
for information on other ways of doing your job or to discuss equipment
modifications or other job assignments.
Keep your bones strong
- Eat a nutritious diet with enough
vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium.
Calcium is found in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt; dark
green, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli; and other
- Exercise and stay active. It is best to do weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing, or lifting weights, for 2½ hours a week. One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. In addition to weight-bearing exercise, experts recommend that you do resistance exercises at least 2 days a week. Talk to your doctor about an exercise program that is right for you. Begin slowly, especially if you have not been active. For
more information, see the topic
- Don't drink more than 2 alcoholic
drinks a day if you are a man, or 1 alcoholic drink a day if you are a woman.
People who drink more than this may be at higher risk for weakening bones
(osteoporosis). Alcohol use also increases your risk of
falling and breaking a bone.
- Don't smoke or use other tobacco
products. Smoking puts you at a much higher risk of developing osteoporosis. It
also interferes with blood supply and healing. For more information, see the
Injuries such as bruises, burns,
fractures, cuts, or punctures may be a sign of
abuse. Suspect possible abuse when an injury cannot be
explained or does not match the explanation, repeated injuries occur, or the
explanations for the cause of the injury change. You may be able to prevent
further abuse by reporting it and seeking help.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
October 11, 2012
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