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Preventing Finger, Hand, and Wrist Problems - Topic Overview

The following tips may prevent finger, hand, and wrist injuries:

  • 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, 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.
  • Review your 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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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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