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Category Archives: thumb pain

Writer’s Cramp – An Underlying Cause

Writer’s cramp – you’ve heard of it – writing for long periods of time or playing a musical instrument can cause your hand to cramp up and become painful – but why does it happen?

The answer is not so simple until you study the anatomy of the hand and realize what all is going on. There are 27 tiny bones in the wrist/hand. Overlapping those bones are over 150 muscles and ligaments that all work synergistically to allow the hand to bend, move and function.

Repetitive activities can really take their toll on the hands – altering the healthy alignment of those 27 bones and causing many of the tiny muscles and ligaments to become involved as well.

When the bones and joints of the hand become misaligned it tugs and pulls on the many muscles of the hand. Then when you write, play the guitar or engage in another tedious hand activity you are likely to experience extreme tightening and spasms in the small hand muscles.

As you may already know, our chiropractic clinic is very unique in that we treat the spine but we also adjust the hands and feet and other extremity joints in the body. There are so many people who suffer with hand pain, numbness and other problems – and they don’t know that chiropractic care is an option for their hands. Specialized chiropractic adjustment to the hands can provide amazing relief for those individuals.

I’ve found that most people tend to take their hands for granted. When sitting down to write a lengthy letter, type on the keyboard for hours, or engage in any other potentially stressful activity requiring sustained hand positions or repetitive movements – it is always in your best interest to take a break occasionally and stretch out your hands and forearms.

All you have to do is to get comfortable in your chair and bend your fingers into a fist and hold for a second or two, and then extend your fingers out as straight as you can for about five seconds (you’ll feel a stretching sensation in the webs of your fingers as you do this).

It doesn’t take long to do this but it just takes your commitment to do so.

As Benjamin Franklin once said – “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


One HANDy Tip You Should Know As You Shop This Holiday Season…

Have you gotten home after a mini-shopping-spree from the grocery or department store and instead of making two or three trips to carry everything inside you simply lined up all of the bags at once, looping them over your fingers and hand? With each of your fingers and thumb acting as a hanger you may have felt the stress and strain of the heavy groceries pulling your phalanges in directions you never knew they could bend.

Well if you’ve been guilty of this you’re not alone. In fact more often than not with our busy lifestyles, when “the going gets fast”, most people tend to place a little too much stress on their hands.

Even though a bag of groceries may not be all that heavy by itself, with multiple bags pulling unevenly or at awkward angles, the hands may become strained and begin to develop symptoms of pain.

Maybe you don’t normally carry groceries into your home in such a compromising fashion but it’s probable that you can relate in some other area in your life where you commonly use your hands in a high-stress activity.

The hands are very versatile and because of that without realizing it you may use them in such a way that could cause undue stress and even injury. Many times it’s what you would consider a light-weight task that causes stress to your hands.

The best rule of thumb (no pun intended), is to always keep your hands in as neutral of a position as possible when performing enduring tasks, even such tasks as carrying bags of groceries or gifts for the family. Using your hands in unnatural postures is one of the most harmful things that you could do that may result in strain or injury to the hands and wrists.

One HANDy take-away-tip for the holiday season is that it’s healthier to slow things down a little if it means keeping those fingers and hands in a non-contorted, more relaxed position.