Your hands are important to you, so it’s vital to know how to take care of your hands. That’s because we don’t often think about our hands—at least, not until they’re hurting. We don’t think about the hundreds or thousands of daily tasks our hands are responsible.
Why You Should Learn How to Take Care of Your Hands
Until it’s too late. It just takes a significant laceration or damage to the tendon to really alter the way you think about your hands. Sometimes you don’t appreciate something until it’s gone, and that’s certainly true of your hands. It’s really easy to take them for granted. And that’s too bad, because just a little bit of preventative behavior can keep your hands in good working order.
Your hands, it turns out, can be quite fragile. A little bit of thought and effort on your part can help to ensure that you don’t have to find out what it’s like to live without the use of those hands—at least, not yet. Here are some ways you can take care of your hands (so your hands can continue to take care of you).
Avoid Repetitive Motion
First and foremost, it’s a good idea to avoid repetitive motion over a long period of time. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, for example, has long been associated with repetitive motion (though the link has not necessarily been proven to be causal in research). And Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can cause all kinds of pain and discomfort in the hand.
This particular ailment is often associated with repetitive motion, such as typing at a keyboard. Avoiding the repetitive movements often results in the symptoms diminishing over time.
But Carpal Tunnel Syndrome isn’t the only issue caused by repetitive motion. Any type of repeated movement can lead to wear and tear. Your joints, ligaments, and tendons can start to wear down. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to avoid typing on a keyboard every day, or that you can’t take that job as a copywriter. Instead, it’s just something for you to be aware of!
Repetitive motions can’t always be avoided. Sometimes you’ve got to type (or chop, or whatever) in order to earn a living. That’s why it’s suggested that you do these activities in a way that is ergonomically suitable. When it comes to typing for example, there are a multitude of keyboards and add-on devices that are designed to help your hands and wrists feel better over the long term.
Now, what’s “ergonomically correct” is going to vary from occupation to occupation. But most of those occupations will have a kind of best practices that will be useful for you to follow. For example, if you’re typing all day, you can easily research the proper levels and angles at which to hold your hands for maximum benefit.
Avoiding and Treating Injuries
It’s worth noting, however, that some occupations are a little more hazardous than others. Hand injuries tend to be very common in some settings (we’re always using them, so it’s not a surprise that they tend to get hurt). Compounding their common use is the fact that hands tend to be quite fragile. The skin is quite thin and all of the mechanics of your hands are quite close to the surface.
This means that even superficial hand injuries might require medical attention. Even shallow cuts can cause damage to tendons, nerves, and muscle. So keep this in mind when something bad happens to your fingers!
People who use their hands often should follow precedent set by other parts of the body. For example, if you run every day it’s likely that you take the time to stretch before and after exerting yourself. The same can be helpful when it comes to your hands.
If, for example, you do a lot of typing or drawing or intricate work with your hands, a series of stretches and “warm ups” can help your hands remain limber and effective. If you know you’re going to be typing all day, take the time to loosen up before hand—it could save you from a painful (and expensive) trip to the doctor.
Specialized Hand Surgery
If your hand does require treatment, it might be worth thinking about getting treatment from a surgeon who specializes in treating the hand. There are many surgeons who have a significant amount of experience treating issues that tend to crop up with hands. Getting the right kind of help can really assist you in taking care of your hands over the long term.