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Safe Hand and Wrist Movements - Topic Overview

Try to avoid hand and wrist movements that can cause pain and other symptoms.

  • Keep your wrists straight or only slightly bent. Avoid activities that bend or twist the wrists for long periods of time.
  • Take frequent breaks from typing or other repetitive activities to stretch your hands and wrists.
  • Avoid doing repetitive movements (hammering, typing, knitting, quilting, sweeping, raking, playing racquet sports, rowing) for long periods of time without rest breaks.
  • Avoid holding objects in one position for long periods of time (holding a book or playing cards).
  • Watch your grip. Gripping with only the thumb and index finger can stress the wrist. Whenever possible, use your whole hand to grasp an object.
  • Reduce the speed and force of repetitive hand movements.
  • When working with tools that vibrate (drills, sanders), use specially designed gloves that support the wrist and have vibration-absorbing padding. Take frequent breaks, and switch hands often.
  • Stop any activities that you think may be causing numbness and pain. If your symptoms improve when you stop an activity, resume that activity gradually. As you do, keep your wrists straight or only slightly bent.

If you suspect that your hand or wrist pain is work-related, you may need to talk with your workplace safety officer about changes in equipment or rotating some of your duties. Make sure that new work changes don't cause other wrist problems or make your condition worse.

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Pinched Nerve

The term "pinched nerve" describes one type of damage or injury to a nerve or set of nerves. The injury may result from compression, constriction, or stretching. Symptoms include numbness, "pins and needles" or burning sensations, and pain radiating outward from the injured area. One of the most common examples of a single compressed nerve is the feeling of having a foot or hand "fall asleep." Pinched nerves can sometimes lead to other conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome,...

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    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 02, 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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