On the surface, working in an office appears safe and healthy. We're protected from the elements with a lower permanent injury, and we spend the majority of our time sitting. But office work comes with its own dangers and risks, especially when it comes to hand and wrist health. Soon, many office workers find themselves in need of effective hand pain relief just to keep up with their jobs.
Sitting for long periods and the repetitive motions involved in office work can have severe implications for your health. In 2019, almost 2 million American’s suffered from repetitive strain injuries, including hand pain from carpal tunnel and tendonitis. The good news is that most office-related hand pain is preventable if you actively take care of your hands and wrists.
Hand pain relief begins with building healthy habits such as introducing office ergonomics, practicing hand and wrist exercises, and decreasing repetitive motions. Learn more specific ways to practice hand health in the article below.
Tendonitis, or the inflammation of the tendons in the body, is a relatively common cause of hand pain. Proper ergonomics can help reduce pain and even keep tendonitis from surfacing in the first place. Simple adjustments to the way you position your elbows, wrists, hands, and forearms can provide long-term hand pain relief for office workers.
Keep your elbows at 90 degrees: To reduce strain on the wrists and hands, you should ideally keep your elbows at 90 degrees when working on a computer. If you can't do this by adjusting your computer or desk position, try changing your chair's height.
Maintain a straight line from elbow to wrists: If your wrist is angled outward or inward, you are most likely over-stretching one side of the wrist.Over time, these wrist postures can cause elbow, wrist, or hand pain.
Stay present while typing or doing computer work: Typing too aggressively or gripping the mouse too tightly can cause strain to the muscles of the hands. Maintain awareness of your grip or try an ergonomic mouse that is moved primarily with the thumb.
People often spend a lot of time and money correcting physical imbalances that they could remedy with a new mouse or keyboard. Invest a little upfront and see the difference in your hand pain.
Stretch It Out
Taking periodic breaks to stretch can relieve hand pain, increase circulation, improve range of motion in the hands, and give your eyes a quick break. Get in the habit of stretching anytime you take a break from typing.
These three simple hand care exercises are a great place to start.
Figure Eight: Clasp the hands together and roll the wrists around in one direction then the other.
Finger Flex: Hold one hand out in front of you, palm up. Use the other hand to gently pull the fingers of your outstretched hand down toward the floor. Repeat on the other side.
Self Massage: Gently rubbing the muscles of the hands is an easy self-care practice to get into. Add some lotion to your hands and rub in a circular motion along the muscles of the palms and fingers. If you have hand pain, use a light to moderate amount of pressure. And don't forget your forearms and wrists!
Decrease Repetitive Motions
Finding ways to decrease painful, repetitive motions is the next step to reducing pain now and in the future. Get creative and do your research. Solutions to your problems may already exist!
Voice-to-text: If long periods of typing are a primary cause of your hand pain, try hands-free typing systems such as voice-to-text.
Mix it up: Try not to spend hours doing the same tasks. If you do not have tasks that require you to get up at least once an hour, ask your employer for a sit-stand desk or set a timer to be sure you take at least a few minutes to stretch after an hour of computer work.
Check your posture: Many spinal issues can cause referred pain in the elbows, wrists, and hands. To prevent hand pain, make sure that you are maintaining good posture most of the time you're at your desk. That means not crossing your legs or ankles and using a wireless headset to keep from staining your neck and shoulders.
Identify the Cause and Find Hand Pain Relief
Repetitive strain injuries to our hands are caused by bad habits repeated over time. The sooner you can kick these habits, the better your hands will feel. Hand pain relief for office workers can be overwhelming, especially if you are unsure of the cause. Be sure to consult a doctor to determine the exact cause of your hand pain.
For ongoing hand pain relief while you fix your ergonomics and build healthy habits, turn to your Kailo PainPatch. Kailo's nanotechnology can provide instant relief so that you can focus on your work and pay attention to your stretches. Apply Kailo near the site of pain and relax.
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May 2021 by John Ford and compiled by numerous media and web sources.