Your patients rely on you to deliver quality care. Without the full use of your hands, you restrict your ability to treat them quickly, confidently, and comfortably. Please keep in mind the three Es (ergonomics, equipment, and exercises) when it comes to protecting yourself from carpal tunnel.
Your hands and wrists could be dying by a thousand little attacks when you repeatedly make awkward movements. Situate yourself so that your wrists stay in a neutral position as much as possible for every activity. Computer time in the office and at home should be set up so that you can sit with feet flat, wrists relaxed, and your chin up at 90 degrees.
Remember that the whole body is a connected unit. Practice ergonomics for your back and legs too. If you ache in one spot, you will compensate with other appendages. Avoid regularly hunching and craning for views.
Give attention to how you hold your tools. An overly tight grip brings incremental strain on your muscles and tendons. Practice holding and applying only as much pressure as is necessary. Your wrists will thank you.
Maybe you’ve heard that “a sharp is a safe knife.” If you have to work a little harder and longer because of equipment that isn’t functioning at its best, you’re putting yourself at greater odds of a wrist injury. Purchase instruments that are comfortable and lightweight. Don’t wait excessively long for oral surgical handpiece repair when your best tool is out of commission. Invest in quality pieces and maintenance for peak performance.
- Squeeze a rubber stress ball for 5 to 10 seconds and release. Repeat five times, and then do the same with the opposite hand.
- Straighten out your right arm with your palm downward and facing toward you. Use your left hand to delicately push your right hand back as far as you comfortably can. Hold for 15 seconds. Do this five times for each arm.
- Stretch out your right arm with your palm facing out away from you. Use your left hand to push your fingers back toward you as far as you comfortably can for 15 seconds. Do this stretch five times for each arm.
Using these simple techniques and practices, you can keep carpal tunnel and other aches at bay. You’ll be in a more pleasant mood, able to serve your patients well as you spread smiles across your locale.