Welcome to our blog, where you’ll find helpful articles and insights about our comprehensive orthopedic services. From surgical procedures and rehabilitation techniques to expert tips, our blog is designed to support your journey to optimal health.

Dive in to discover how our dedicated team of specialists is committed to providing superior care and achieving the best possible outcomes for every patient.

View Blog Posts By

  • Reset

Overworked Hands? 5 Tips to Care for Your Hands as an Artist or Crafter 

Are you an artist or an avid crafter? Perhaps you picked up a quarantine knitting or crochet hobby and haven’t stopped since. Or maybe you explore your artistic side with painting, jewelry making, sewing, or woodworking. No matter what the craft is, you are likely to use your hands, fingers, wrist, and/or elbow in repetitive motion when you become immersed in your work.  

Overuse of the hands can put you at risk for hand injuries, such as repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, and more. At Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin, it’s our job to help you avoid pain and injury. Follow our tips below to protect your hands for not only artists and crafters, but also writers, computer workers, musicians, or anyone in a profession or hobby that requires frequent use of the hands.    

1. Take Breaks  

When you’re working on an exciting project, it’s easy to lose track of time. The excitement of seeing your project come together can drive you to continue working, even beyond your limits. While progress is exciting, you must implement regular breaks. Set a timer to go off every 30 minutes. This way you can remember to give your hands a much-needed break and avoid overuse.

2. Hand Stretches   

You might think warm-ups are only necessary for exercise or another strenuous activity, but a proper warm-up is important for any repetitive activity. Stretching the body is important to improve your flexibility and avoid stiffness and tension. A gentle hand massage or a warm compress can also help warm up stiff hands by improving circulation and loosening muscles.   

Here are a few simple hand and wrist stretches that can help you avoid pain or injury:  

  • Make a fist, then spread your fingers wide  
  • Gently bend your wrist  
  • Gently bend each finger back  
  • Prayer pose 

3. Wear the Proper Gear  

It may sound excessive to need gear for your crafting hobbies, but these tools can help you complete longer sessions of work pain-free. If you are working on a hard surface, some extra padding or a cushion can help relieve pressure from your hands or wrist.  

Consider a wrap or brace on your hands and wrist for extra support. You can use sports tape for temporary use or a wrist brace or supportive glove for a more permanent solution. Finger stents can also help provide extra support for finger-intensive activities.  

4. Work on Ergonomics    

If your hobby or activity is more than a passing interest, consider investing in the proper ergonomic tools. This could include ergonomically designed scissors, rotary cutters, or crochet hooks with comfortable handles. The proper tools minimize the effort required for these tasks. When using these tools, pay attention to your grip. Using a more relaxed grip and varying your hand positions can help prevent the overuse of specific muscles.   

 Also, ensure your posture and seating arrangement is comfortable. See that your workspace is well-lit and that you are not straining anywhere around your neck, shoulders, or back. Proper and comfortable posture will also alleviate any strain on your hands.  

5. Consult with a Physical Therapist  

If you do experience pain or discomfort in your hands, do not ignore it. Consider taking a break when any pain, numbness, or tingling occurs and consult with a healthcare professional, like a physical therapist. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to more serious issues, such as a repetitive strain injury.  

 If pain or injury keeps you from your craft, hobby, or work, contact the team at Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin. Our orthopedic specialists can provide you with the proper treatment that can help you to feel pain-free. With preventative measures and effective treatment, you can enjoy your hobby for years to come.   

To make an appointment, visit https://www.ohow.com/request-an-appointment/ or call (414) 961-6800.   

Request an Appointment