Are you treating your hands correctly? You know we tend to take the parts of our body we use the most for granted. Perhaps it is because we use them so much that we think they will not fail. However, that is faulty thinking.
I have been enthralled with the hand ever since I heard Hawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda) give a recitation of the opposable thumb on the television show “M*A*S*H.” In many ways it is the thumb that makes us so much more competent than animals.
The hand is designed to perform a wide variety of tasks. However, it must be cared for correctly.
It should be remembered that tendons, blood vessels, and nerves pass through the wrist to allow movement of the hand.
There are certain things to avoid.
You should avoid flexion or extension of the wrist. You should avoid pinch or grip fully extended. It is important not to bend the finger towards the little finger or right thumb as a whole.
Additionally do not carry things with upturned palms.
I never considered this but it hurts your hands if you wear something around your wrist that is too tight like a watch.
If your hand is allowed to get too cold it is very harmful and if you are constantly reaching excessively it is a problem.
Ways to protect your hand include having wrist supports. Also keep your feet on the floor when seated with your back well-supported.
Something I learned when researching this article is that you are doing “keyboarding” you should type lightly. Also it is important to alternate tasks.
Whether it is using hand tools or writing instruments it is very important that they fit your hand.
If a tool doesn’t fit your hand there are things referred to as adapters.
There are some exercises you can do that will help you keep your hands in good shape.
Sit in a chair. While doing that hang your arms down by your side. Inhale slowly while raising the shoulders up and backwards.
Clasp hands above your heads and move shoulder blades towards one another.
This is an exercise that is versatile. You can sit or stand. Breathe deeply and then you can touch your chin to chest while exhaling.
I’d wait until no one was around to do this one. Hold your arms straight out and then make little circles with your arms.
Since I write I of course do a tremendous amount of keyboarding. I have found that these exercises do very well in helping my hands “get the job done.”
“Care of the Hand,” Booklet, Mayo Clinic