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Preventing Hand And Wrist Problems

Hand pain has many causes, including injury and disease. Some of the most common conditions causing hand pain are De Quervain's Tendinitis (causes pain on the thumb side of the wrist), Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ( causes pain in the palm, some fingers and the forearm), fractures (cause pain, swelling and loss of movement), Arthritis (causes pain and swelling in the base of the thumb and in the joints of the fingers, and Trigger Finger, which causes the fingers or thumbs to lock in a bent position.

Here are some tips to prevent finger, hand and wrist problems:

  1. Do exercises that strengthen your hand and arm muscles.
  2. Stop, change or take a break from activities that cause your problems (like excessive driving).
  3. Reduce the speed of repetitive movements in activities such typing, quilting, sweeping, hammering or rowing.
  4. Change positions when holding an object, such as a book, for long periods.
  5. Use your whole hand to grasp an object.
  6. Wear wrist guards in sports activities.
  7. When using a keyboard, keep forearms parallel to the floor or somewhat lowered, with fingers lower than the wrist. Take regular breaks to stretch the neck, shoulders, wrists, hands and fingers.

Here are some easy exercises to strengthen your hands:

  • Open and Close: Hold your hands in the air, fingers together. Slowly spread your fingers apart and return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
  • Walk Your Fingers: Rest your hand on a table, palm facing down and fingers spread slightly apart. Moving one finger at a time, slowly walk the fingers toward the thumb. Next, lift and move your middle finger toward the thumb,then the ring finger and last, the pinkie toward the thumb. Do not move your wrist or thumb while doing this exercise. Repeat on the other hand.
  • Make a Fist:  Start with your fingers straight and spread apart. Next, make a fist and wrap your thumb around the outside of your fingers. Don't squeeze the fingers together too tightly. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat ten times.
  • Finger and Wrist Stretch: Starting with the right hand, gently extend the fingers back one by one. Next, take them back all at the same time. Repeat 10 times.
  • Prayer Stretch: Stand with palms together(prayer position) and elbows out to the sides. Slowly lower wrists until you feel a stretch. Hold for 5 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.