10 Tips for Reducing Repetitive Motion Injuries – Specifically Dealing With the Wrist

Repetitive motions make joints prone to a group of injuries called Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). It is the result of stress and strain to the muscles, tendons, and nerves surrounding the joint(s). The cause of the condition can range from overuse from writing to playing tennis. RSI can cause conditions such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel, bursitis, vibration white finger. These conditions have very similar symptoms and are mostly preventable. The ten tips to reduce the chance of RSI include:

  1. Maintain a healthy body and weight. When you are overweight, it causes unneeded pressure, stress and strain that causes irritation. It is also important to remain healthy for appropriate blood flow.

  2. It is important to stretch and exercise. Strengthening the muscles and maintaining flexibility can prevent injury and strain.

  3. Ensure proper positioning of the wrists at a 30-45 degree angle when working at the computer, at job, etc. Unnatural positioning can cause wear and tear from the tendons and nerves rubbing together.

  4. Make sure to use your muscles to move your fingers and hands. Using tendons/ligaments can be a cause for injury. It is important to allow the muscles to provide the movements when at the computer keyboard because otherwise there could be issues of hyperextension that results in damage to the tendons and nerves.

  5. It is important to take breaks to stretch to release stress built up in the hands and wrist. The recommendation is that a person stretch at least once every hour for about ten minutes.

  6. Alternate positions regularly to trigger different muscles and to keep from maintaining the stress and strain to one area.

  7. Maintain a good grip. A good grip is defined as from the natural wrist positioning; the thumb and fingers should be brought together until they are approximately three inches apart. This is considered the ideal grip.

  8. Just like when lifting items, it is important to keep what you are working on in your middle ground. You do not want to be straining to reach or crowding yourself because of the stress that it causes.

  9. Do not hyperextend or hyperflex your joints because muscles are incapable of being able to control the extreme pulls of the muscles. These motions result in flexion of the nerves and muscle beyond normal ranges.

  10. Maintaining the warmth of your hands is important to help with the movement of the tendons and ligaments. When the hands are cold, it will cause the body to worker harder to function and move.

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