Wrist pain comes in many forms: from acute injuries like tendonitis or a broken wrist (carpal) bone, to chronic injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. However, the most common type of wrist pain over the holiday season typically comes from repetitive use and placing unnecessary stress on your wrists.
Here are a couple examples of what wrist pain suffers may do over the holiday season and how you can avoid the same fate:
Carrying Too Many Grocery Bags At Once: Have you ever tried to carry too many grocery bags from the car into the house? If you’re like most people, you grab as many bags as possible – placing them in your hands, directly on your wrists and arms, and even wrapping them around your fingers – until you can’t comfortably carry any more.
The problem with carrying too many groceries bags (especially in awkward ways) is that you’re placing unnecessary stress on your finger joints and wrists, and this stress and pressure can strain your tendons and ligaments and cause wrist pain.
So, instead of carry in all of your grocery bags at once, we recommend making several trips with less baggage in your hands. This will keep your fingers and wrists safe, healthy, and pain-free.
Improperly Transporting Holiday Presents: Holiday presents come in all shapes and sizes. If you have a lot of small gifts you’re transporting from the store to your house or your house to another house, we recommend carrying what you comfortably can and making several trips instead of piling everything into your arms and making a mad dash to the house.
If you have bigger presents you’re moving around, like a TV, grill, or trampoline, we recommend using proper lifting techniques (use your legs, keep your wrists straight, etc.) and using a standing or roll-around dolly. You can also ask for help from a family member, friend, or neighbor to save your body from potential injury. It’s the holiday season, so they’ll probably say yes (wink, wink).
Trying to save a few minutes by carrying everything in all at once is ill-advised, and it is definitely not worth you injuring your wrists and being laid up, unable to grasp anything, for weeks or months.
Rushing To Prep & Serve The Holiday Feast: Preparing and serving the holiday feast can not only be mentally draining, it can be physically challenging. Simple, repetitive activities like cutting vegetables and potatoes can tire your hands and wrists and put them at risk for injure. Likewise, seemingly innocent activities like carrying bowls and plates from the kitchen to the table can place your wrists at awkward positions and cause unexpected wrist pain.
The easy solutions are to get help when you can, use two hands when carrying anything that puts your hand or wrist into a precarious position, and rest your hands and wrists as often as possible throughout the day. Follow these simple solutions and your wrists should have a safe, pain-free holiday season.
Now, if you do unfortunately happen to tweak or injure your hands or wrists, please give us a call here at Three Rivers Orthopedic Associates. Our highly-trained physicians are here to help you get out of pain and enjoy the presents you receive.