Summary: There are, unfortunately, plenty of unsuspecting ways you can injure your hands. Their overall basic construction makes your hands particularly susceptible to all kinds of injuries and complications (inflammation, in particular, can cause a lot of trouble). So there are definitely going to be some hand injuries you don’t see coming.
Some Unsuspecting Ways You Can Injure Your Hands
Your daily life is risky, or at least it can be, according to your hands. That’s why today we’re talking about some unsuspecting ways you can injure your hands–ways you’ve probably never thought of and yet nonetheless exist. In part, your hands are so susceptible to injury because you’re always using them.
But the other thing to consider is that, well, your hands are relatively fragile. There’s not a lot protecting them from the elements or injury. The skin around the hands and fingers tends to be quite thin, which means that even shallow injuries can result in damage to the vital workings of your hand.
That’s why today we’re going to look at some unsuspecting injuries that can cause damage to your hands and how you might actually be able to prevent some of those injuries (we should point out, however, that this article is intended for entertainment purposes only; we aren’t doctors, so if you need medical advice, you should see a hand surgeon). Unsuspecting ways you can injure your hands will become less common once you start, uh, suspecting.
Possible Injury Source #1: Yard Work
You might not think about yard work as particularly dangerous, especially if all you’re doing is picking up a few twigs or raking some leaves. Now, if you’re using a chainsaw to take down one of your big trees, you might take some precautions. But in other cases, most people tend to think of yard work as routine.
But there are plenty of opportunities to injure your hands. If you’re pruning, a snip in the wrong place might cause some significant damage. Even during the clean up phase, a thorn that you don’t notice could go right through your skin and result in an injury that needs treatment. That’s why, to protect your hands, it’s a good idea to wear gloves while you engage in yard work.
Injuries during yard work can sneak up on you because it’s such a routine activity. But, again, your hands can be fragile, so take care while you’re cleaning up your yard or active in your garden.
Possible Injury Source #2: Typing
Now, what could be more pedestrian than typing out an email? Then again, maybe that’s exactly the point. There’s been plenty of research to suggest that repetitive motions can cause what’s known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (now, that research isn’t conclusive, but it is, as I said, suggestive).
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the result of inflammation putting pressure on tendons and nerves in your wrist. It manifests as pain, numbness, or tingling in your pinky, ring finger, and the outer half of your hand. And the thinking is that repetitive motion–the kind you engage in when you’re typing away at your computer (just as I am now) is the culprit.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usually begins with changes to your behavior. Sometimes the ergonomics of your activity can be changed to create less inflammation. In more extreme cases, surgery may be required (and you’ll need to consult with a hand surgeon).
Possible Injury Source #3: Chopping Onions
Okay, let’s say you’re chopping some onions (or slicing, or dicing) and the knife slips and you nick your finger. It’s going to hurt, right? So you put a bandaid on it and move on with your day. Sometimes this just happens when you’re working with a knife.
Well, yes and no. The unexpected way you can injure your hand here has to do with the severity more than anything else. Even a small cut to your finger can cause significant damage because everything’s so close to the surface. A small cut from a knife while you’re chopping onions could in fact cause damage to your nerves, tendons, ligaments, or muscles.
And damage to any one of those can result in loss of mobility or chronic pain and issues. So, if you happen to cut yourself while you’re chopping onions (or any other vegetable), it’s not a bad idea to let a doctor take a look at your finger and just make sure everything is healing the way it’s supposed to. Even a superficial injury here could cause problems.
Seek Medical Treatment
I suppose the overall point here is to take care of your hands. Sometimes that will mean seeking medical treatment. In other cases, that will mean being a little more deliberate and methodical in your daily activities. There are plenty of unsuspecting ways you can injure your hands. But paying attention to your surroundings (or at least seeing your doctor) can cut down on a number of those.
- Seton Healthcare Family. “A Look at Common Hand Injuries and Conditions.” Seton, www.seton.net/reconstructive-plastic-surgery/hand/common-hand-injuries/.
- “Finger, Hand, and Wrist Injuries.” HealthLink BC, www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/handi.
- “Hand Injuries | Hand Disorders.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 23 Oct. 2018, medlineplus.gov/handinjuriesanddisorders.html.