Saving your Hand from Repetitive Strain Injury

Saving your Hand from Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive movement and overuse of muscles and nerves cause repetitive strain injury (RSI). It is a general term used to discuss the damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves of the neck, arms, hands and shoulders resulting squeezing pain or numbness.

In the occupational settings the pain felt in the forearm or hand is very common in workers. During job in the workplace, the workers move their hands repetitively, forcefully, and sometime awkwardly, either they are working on computer (typing and frequent clicking the mouse buttons) or fixing any technical faults in machines.

Repetitive strain injury in not only related to the reckless movement of hands but the gentle moves for hours, days and years, thousand times ultimately cause lack of lubrication for the sheaths covering nerves causing microscopic tears in workers eyes. This may cause long term abrasion in nerves and muscles and behavioral changes. But you can avoid repetitive strain injury with proper use of tools, and good postures while working.

Read more ways here to save your hands from repetitive strain injury.

1. Position the Workbench Correctly

If your workbench is not properly positioned or organized, you will get a bad body posture. Either you work by sitting or standing, keep the things in mind.

 Keep the height of workbench proper so that you don’t have to bend your body.
Keep the bench in your easy reach.
While working on computer, keep the monitor to your eyes level.
Position workbench such that your hands are below head kevel and above knee level.

2. Position the Chairs Correctly

Not only the workbench but your chairs also determine your hands position while working. To avoid your hands from repetitive strain injury, your use the chairs;
  • of adjustable height 
  • at right angle. 
  • with sliding facility 

3. Using Ergonomic Computer Devices

Almost every kind of workplace has computer now to smooth the progress. But the selection of smart computer gear is very important. The keyboard and the mouse are the two things which we use the most. Our hands continuously move on the keyboard and the mouse the entire time in the office.

Use ergonomic mouse and keyboard to help reducing repetitive strain injury in your hands.

4. Proper Use of Computer

The use of computer is the most risky factor of repetitive strain injury not only in hands but also shoulders, back and fingers. It also causes eye strain. But there are certain techniques which can save your hands form repetitive strain injury. Follow these.
  • Keep your wrists in neutral position when you type. Any deviation of wrist from neutral position may result in strain in hands and wrists. 
  • Keep the keyboard at below elbow level. 
  • Don’t stretch your fingers while typing instead move your hand entirely for reaching the keys which are not frequently used. 
  • Use both hands for typing. 
  • Move your entire hand when moving mouse. 
  • Avoid double clicking as much as you can. 
  • Use computer as much necessary. 

5. Working with Tools

Hand movement with working tools is significant in deciding wither you will be the victim of hand strain injury or not. Keep in mind when you work with tools.
  • Select lighter tools 
  • Hold the tools from clamps. 
  • Keep the tools sharp to avoid putting extra force. 
  • Hold well to reduce vibration in the tasks like cutting. 
  • Don’t put extra force on the utensil when you write. 
  • Use the pens and pencils with smooth nibs, so that you don’t have to grip them tightly. 
  • Don’t use your hand as hammer. 
  • Use the right tool for job. 
  • Avoid repetitive arm use. 

6. Maintain a good Sitting Posture

The most RSI problems are caused by the bad sitting posture while working. More effort is required to work in a bad sitting posture. Follow the given rules when you sit, so that you may work evenly in tour workplace.
  • Never droop. The slouched body posture is very bad. 
  • Keep your feet flat o floor. 
  • The knees should be on right angle with the chair. You may cross your legs. 
  • The lower back slightly arched in but supported by the chair. 
  • Upper back should be naturally rounded 
  • Shoulders in relaxed position 
  • Don’t hold tension in neck. 
  • Your forearms perpendicular to the elbows. 
  • Keep your head up but relaxed. 
BUT don’t sit in same posture for long.

Use elastic material on the back of the hands which creates appropriate tension when you stretch your hands out.

Change your work habits and if you get RSI, avoid typing and using tools for some days. And find a good therapist to fix the problem.
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