Summer is here which means more time enjoying the outdoors and working to maintain landscaping. This may mean mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges or cutting down those hanging tree limbs. These activities may require the use of equipment that has very sharp edges. In the summer, hand therapists see many injuries related to these activities. One of those being tendon injuries, which can mean a cut of the tendon(s) in the forearm or hand that help open and close the hand. Tendon injuries can be very serious injuries, especially if not correctly addressed with surgery and rehabilitation. If you cut yourself and find a lack of ability to move a finger, thumb or wrist with your own power, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Typically, a tendon injury will require surgical repair. Hand therapy then becomes a large part of the recovery. You can find a local certified hand therapist through the American Society of Hand Therapists at www.asht.org/find-a-therapist.
“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to not just feed the body but the soul” – Alfred Austin
Gardening is a meaningful activity for people across the lifespan. It can add beauty and nutrition as well as be an outlet for stress relief and a means of exercise. While it has many benefits, it can also be hard work for the muscles and joints of your hands and arms. Here are some tips and tricks that may help you reduce your risk for pain and increase your joy and productivity in the garden.
Good gardening tools can be especially helpful to reduce risk and pain associated with repetitive use injuries.
- Tools with built up handles can reduce the grip strength required to perform activities and protect your joints. Wide handled or ergonomic tools may also be available on the internet or in local shops.
- To build up the handles of your own tools, pipe insulation can be purchased at your local hardware store.
The winter months can be a festive and fun time of year; however, they can also bring many hazards that can lead to hand, wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries. Snow shoveling and removal are strenuous and sometimes risky activities that are necessary in these snowy months, and should be addressed with some simple safety measures to protect yourself from potential injury.
Common safety steps to take when addressing snow removal include:
- Warm up before tackling snow removal – Doing a short amount of light exercise to warm your body prior to shoveling snow can assist in reducing your risk of injury.
- Wearing gloves with skid resistant material – One simple strategy to combat the snow is to be sure your gloves and/or mittens have a skid resistant material on the palm and fingers. This will allow you to have adequate grip on your shovel to prevent unnecessary slipping of your equipment.
In the United States, 88% of people eat turkey on Thanksgiving. That leaves a lot of room for hand injuries! It’s not uncommon to accidentally cut yourself while carving a turkey or other meats. Unfortunately, carving injuries can be serious, sometimes involving amputation. Here’s how you can safely carve a turkey this Thanksgiving:
Guest post from Enviro Tech
A glove should fit your hand perfectly. It also should fit the situation in which you’re using it. Although safety gloves are a necessity in the workplace, not enough workers fully understand their importance.
Many hand injuries in the workplace occur because the worker involved isn’t wearing safety gloves. Sometimes injuries occur when the gloves being worn are inadequate for the hazard. It isn’t enough for workers to simply be wearing safety gloves while on the job — they need to be wearing the right gloves for the specific job.
There is a wide variety of safety gloves designed to protect workers in a wide variety of hazardous situations. Some gloves are designed to protect from caustic substances, while others are designed to guard against sharp objects. Some safety gloves offer protection only against extreme cold. Certain types of gloves offer workers the manual dexterity required for detailed and delicate work, while others limit dexterity due to their construction. Knowing which safety gloves fit the situation is crucial for workers to protect themselves and/or avoid costly accidents.
We are aware that we should exercise caution to prevent job-related injuries at work. However, many injuries happen at home, especially in the kitchen. Hand injuries are some of the worst kind. Cut hand tendons and ligaments are not only painful, but extremely hard to restore through surgery.
Our hands are our “money makers.” Without their proper use, life is much more difficult. Not only at work, but when at home, too, we should take the proper precautions whenever performing a task that involves a blade (like cutting, chopping, or peeling) – even if the task does not seem “dangerous.” Here’s a great video showing some basic kitchen knife techniques – the cross chop and the rock chop.
Recently, attention has been drawn to the injury known as “avocado hand.” This is what surgeons and doctors call hands that have been lacerated by a knife while slicing an avocado. Click HERE to watch a video on how to prevent “avocado hand.” Instead of holding the avocado with your bare hand, you can use a damp towel or a cutting board to slice the avocado and remove the pit.