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Finger, Hand, and Wrist Problems, Noninjury

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Prevention

The following tips may prevent finger, hand, and wrist problems.

General tips

  • Do exercises that strengthen your hand and arm muscles.
  • Stop, change, or take a break from activities that cause your symptoms.
  • Reduce the speed and force of repetitive movements in activities such as hammering, typing, knitting, quilting, sweeping, raking, playing racquet sports, or rowing.
  • Change positions when holding objects, such as a book or playing cards, for any length of time.
  • Use your whole hand to grasp an object. Gripping with only your thumb and index finger can stress your wrist.
  • When you work with tools that vibrate, consider using special gloves that support the wrist and have vibration-absorbing padding.
  • Wear protective gear, such as wrist guards, in sports activities.

Protect your hands from cold

  • Wear gloves anytime it is cool outside.
  • Use an insulated cover when you drink from a cold glass.
  • Avoid caffeine (coffee, cola, tea, chocolate) and tobacco products. Nicotine and caffeine cause blood vessels to narrow, which decreases blood flow to the hands.
  • Eat a hot meal before going out. Eating raises your body temperature and helps keep you warm.

Work posture and body mechanics

  • Organize your work so that you can change your position occasionally while maintaining a comfortable posture.
  • 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.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 11, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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