Hand Injury Prevention Tips from a Plastic Surgeon

Whether you’re in front of a computer, drilling away at concrete with a jackhammer, or simply bowling with friends, it’s important to learn a few tips on preventing hand injuries that may save you from years of unknown sources of pain.

We use our hands everyday; they’re what make us able to perform work of any sort. Our hands are made up of many complexities involving tendons, small bones, tissues, and nerves, which is why injuries may never heal back to full potential. One mistake could cause you years of various pains in your hands.

Most hand injuries are a result of carelessness or disregard to safety protocol that is required to follow on certain jobs. The most common hand injury is carpal tunnel, which occurs over time due to hours of repetitious movement that many of our jobs may force us to endure.

Click here to learn more about sources of acute trauma injuries and types of cumulative trauma.

Here are the tips you should always keep in mind, especially if you have a job dealing with lots of hand movement:

Keep Your Wrists Straight – By keeping your wrists straight, you avoid unnecessary pressure to your wrists. When you slightly bend your wrists or twist them, you are applying extra pressure to your wrists that may result in long-term damage.

Take Breaks – Most of us are too busy tasked with so many activities that we don’t find time to simply get up and take a quick 1 or 2-minute break from our work. Small, frequent breaks throughout your workday has the possibility of preventing strain on your hands, especially your wrists if you’re in front a computer majority of the day.

Grip it or Rip It – If you have a job that involves lifting or using specific tools that require a grip of any sort, then you need to make sure you have proper form. You should always try and grip objects or tools with your whole hand and not just a few fingers or thumb. When you grip objects with your thumb and fingers only, you put a lot of extra strain on your wrists.

Switch Hands – If you are able to switch your hands to complete task, then you will be giving some rest time to the hand that has to bear all of the work throughout the day. It’s hard for people to switch hands when they’re ‘right-handed’ or ‘left-handed’, but being ambidextrous is something you can also brag to your friends about!

Build Hand Strength – By keeping your hand strength high, you can effectively decrease the chances of sustaining a hand injury. Simply making a fist for maybe 5 minutes worth of time could increase your hand’s strength. You could purchase a grip strengthener, which increases the strength of your wrists.

Talk To Your Supervisor – Don’t be afraid to talk to your supervisor about changing around a few activities on the job that you believe might be contributing to any type of hand injuries. Your workplace should always be accommodating of the physical conditions of their employees.

If you sustain a hand injury that does not seem to be getting better over time, then you should seek out a professional that specializes in hands. Your hands are very complex and delicate features of the body. Consult with a LA Hand Surgeon specialist to determine appropriate diagnosis and treatment for any acute trauma or hand pain you face.