Co-Author: Werokina Noyszewski, OTS
Pity the tool! Tough as nails, even Mr. T could learn a thing or two about hand tool injuries. As the weather turns for the better, home renovations continue to be top of mind for many folks. From endless hours watching home renovation television shows, to scrolling through your favorite social networks for inspiration, we all have the desire for DIY projects to improve our space. No matter what your artisan experience is, our expert Hand Therapists have provided tips to keep you safe while working with your hands.
Working with hand tools can be hazardous, especially when not properly trained. When hand tools are misused, the opportunity for injury increases. Hand injuries may result in a loss of motion, grip, dexterity and inability to complete simple tasks.
1. Utilize the user’s guide and safety instructions when using a new tool.
2. Choose the right tool for the job, and inspect the tool to ensure it is in good condition.
3. Consider general protective equipment such as appropriate shoes, eyewear, gloves, harness, and head/hearing protection.
4. Clear workspace of clutter and have adequate lighting.
5. Store tools appropriately when not in use.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Using the same tool for multiple hours a day can irritate muscles, tendons, nerves and ligaments. Hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers are all tools that involve repetitive motion. From gripping and fastening, to turning and bending, our hands can get pretty beaten up by the end of the day.
Injuries like these may require ice, heat, and rest. It is also recommended to see a hand specialist about other treatment options including conservative management, custom splinting, steroid injections, or the possibility of surgery.
More serious acute injuries, such as amputations, lacerations and fractures, can also occur when using hand tools. Traumatic injuries such as these will often require immediate medical attention. Once the acute injury has been addressed, you may be referred to a hand specialist to help regain motion, improve function and reduce pain.
Many hand tool injuries are avoidable. It is essential at all times to follow safety tips and precautions when working with hand tools. Call or visit our website to schedule an appointment with one of our Occupational/Hand Therapists! We would love to help you prevent accidents and stay healthy!
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
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3. ERICKSON, M., LAWRENCE, M., STEGINK JANSEN, C. W., COKER, D., AMADIO, P., & CLEARY, C. (2019). Hand Pain and Sensory Deficits: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 49(5), CPG1-CPG60.
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5. Mitchelson, A., & Maender, C. (2020, November 27). Hand Amputation. STATPEARLS. https://www.statpearls.com/ArticleLibrary/viewarticle/22535