Preventing Slips and Trips in the Spring & Summer
The ice and cold weather of the winter are behind us. It’s that time of the year when thoughts turn to spring cleaning, fresh air and outdoor activities. Our vigilance for accidental trips and falls may be lowered, since sidewalks and parking lots aren’t icy or slick. But it’s just that element of surprise that can cause an accidental slip or fall, even in warm weather. Younger people are at risk for falls, too.
Outdoor hazards include:
Potholes in parking lots: The harsh Michigan winter takes a toll on parking lots, and not every business owner has the money or resources to fix problematic holes or cracks. Be vigilant and look ahead as you cross these areas, especially if you are pushing a shopping cart, which could camouflage holes.
Uneven sidewalks: Even a difference of a mere inch is enough to trip up a walker or runner out on a sunny afternoon. If you’re not nimble enough to get your feet back under you in time, you could wind up with a serious injury to a wrist or hand. Joggers are even more at risk; due to their forward momentum, they have less time to recover their balance.
Boating, skiing or tubing accidents: Weird things can happen with ropes and boats and water. Injuries to fingers can occur, and passengers getting into or out of boats should be especially careful of slippery conditions.
Indoor hazards include:
Carpeting or rugs: All of the edges of carpeting and rugs should be tacked down.
Lighting should be adjusted: Dim lighting can be a culprit, but so can lights that are too bright.
Secure the bathroom: Be sure non-slip bath mats are in place, and grab bars and even shower chairs are on hand for older family members or those with mobility limitations.
Safe Stairways: All stairways must have sturdy handrails. And be sure to use them each and every time you go up and down the stairs.
User-friendly kitchens: Keep frequently-used items at waist height, so reaching, bending and stooping are not repeatedly required. People are more likely to lose their balance if they are not standing upright, evenly balanced on both feet.
Even with diligence, accidents can’t always be prevented. Dr. Rehman and her team of experts are here to assist in the repair and recovery from injuries to the hands, wrist or upper extremities. From the initial evaluation, to the proper diagnosis and design of a comprehensive program utilizing the latest modalities and techniques, Dr. Rehman and her team of hand therapists will guide your recovery. Reach out to Dr. Rehman’s office today to learn more or to schedule an appointment
Keeping your Hands and Arms Healthy
Every day another glorious gardening catalog arrives, sparking dreams of the gorgeous gardens we will have in the spring and summer. The planning is great fun, but don’t let hand pain stop you from getting your gardens in shape for a knockout blooming season. A bit of preventive planning and you’ll be gardening to your heart’s content.
Avoid Overdoing It
Too much of one repetitive motion can cause a flare up in hand pain, and it will typically happen after about 45 minutes of continuous activity. Break gardening tasks (weeding, digging, transplanting) into smaller blocks of time and take frequent rests to keep flare-ups to a minimum.
Update Your Tools
Look for gardening tools with bigger handles that are easier to grip. Or, wrap the handles with pipe insulation or foam to make them easier to grip. Electric tools can also ease hand, wrist and arm strain, although the vibration from prolonged use can irritate arthritis, so make sure to take frequent breaks. Use gloves with heavy padding for heavy grasping tasks.
Stay well hydrated to minimize stress not only on your fingers and wrists, but on all of the joints in your body.
Avoid Stooping and Reaching
Whenever possible work at waist height and avoid excessive overhead work. Use a planting table and a garden bench in place of squatting or stooping. Get good long-handled pruning shears or trimmers to keep large bushes looking nice.
Repetitive Motion Disorders
Many people experience hand, wrist or finger pain during the course of their lifetime. If this is not obviously a result of traumatic injury, like a jammed finger or wrist sprain, it may be a repetitive motion disorder, or RMD. There are a range of RMDs and the discomfort associated with them can range from a mere annoyance to debilitating pain.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is not always treated with surgery. In fact, there are many workplace and lifestyle changes that can be made to help cope with the condition, which can range from annoying to painful. But, you don’t have to put up with carpal tunnel syndrome; you have options.