Repetitive Stress Injuries When Using Hand Tools

Many people use hand tools at work or at home.  While they certainly make the job easier, strains can still occur, build, and lead to injuries. 

As with many tasks, some positions can feel easier when using tools but may place excessive strain on the body.  Other times, it may be easier to do a particular task in a poor position.  Over time this can lead to strain and injury, particularly in the muscles of the forearm and hands. 

Muscle strains and tendonitis are particularly common injuries when using hand tools.  Sprains may occur as well when applying excessive force, particularly with the fingers and hands.  Scraping with hand tools is a common way this may happen. 

Applying ice over sensitive and injured muscles and joints in the hand and forearm can reduce pain and inflammation.

Repetitive stress injuries can often be prevented with activity modification.  Take regular rest breaks and rotate between tasks to avoid exhaustion of muscles. 

Avoiding extreme flexion or extension of the wrist and maintaining a neutral wrist position while turning a screwdriver or wrench can help reduce stress and strain. 

Sometimes muscle tightness and pain occur even with careful use. Chiropractic treatment is a great way to treat pain and tightness associated with hand tool use.  Chiropractic physicians use a variety of modalities including manipulation, massage, electrostimulation, exercise, and stretching instruction that all help manage the pain and symptoms that come from work injuries.  Contact your Chiropractor if you are suffering pain from using hand tools.