Monday, August 4, 2014

Using a Visual Analog Pain Scale

Get a Visual Pain Scale

Tracking your pain is a helpful diagnostic tool when dealing with repetitive stress injuries. A visual analog pain scale like this lets you bypass the cognitive level of your brain and give a truer representation of your pain. Print out a number of copies and start a file to track your pain level over time.

Track Your Problem Tasks
Keep a file on your pain near the work site for every problem task you have identified as a potential cause for your injury. Pull it out and record your pain every time you perform that task no matter how long it is for.

10 Tips to Prevent Wrist Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress on the wrist can lead to a number of different injuries, like tendonitis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. They all have similar symptoms, mainly the wrist, hand and arm hurting. And although some conditions can have other primary causes, they are all aggravated by wrist overuse. With that in mind here are the top 10 tips to prevent repetitive stress injuries of the wrist.

1. Stay Healthy
Maintain a healthy body weight and a good cardiovascular system. An unhealthy body causes stress everywhere. Add that to any environmental stressors and you may have a problem. 

2. Stay Strong
Keep your wrist, arm, hand and fingers strong. It is harder to overuse something if it is normally worked harder. Strengthen the muscles involved and increase flexibility through stretching. 

3. Don't Break the Wrist
Lay the outer part of your forearm on a hard surface. Let it rotate inward naturally. Keep your wrist straight. That is the natural wrist position (see image above). 

Notice that the palm is at a 30-45 degree angle and that the fingers are curled. Keep that position whenever possible. Flexing and twisting of the wrist causes all the tendons and nerves to rub over leverage points at the joints which can cause a lot of problems. 

The Essential 2 Minute Stretch Program

Stretch 1: Relieving Eyestrain

Ergonomically speaking, you should take a 10-minute break every hour you're working to prevent fatigue and repetitive stress injuries . You should get up, walk around and stretch. The reality is, however, that you may have less time to cram this in -- and that time may be spent running off to another task. So, if you're looking for a little office yoga here is a set of 10 essential stretches that you can do during your elevator ride, on the way to the parking lot, while on the phone or any time you can find two minutes.
Eye strain can easily be relieved. One way to relax the eye is to stretch the muscles that focus the lens. The key is to focus on things at different distances. You can follow your finger if nothing else will do.
  • Focus near, then far, near, then far.
  • Repeat a couple of times.
  • Take a couple of long blinks.
Stretch 2: Side to Side Neck Stretch

Stretching your neck side to side releases tension in you head, neck and shoulders.

  • Lay your head to the side, pivoting at the base of the neck.
  • Hold it for a few seconds, then lay it to the other side.
  • Repeat a couple of times.
This will loosen your neck and shoulder muscles. If you can do this with your eyes closed, it will help them relax as well.