Keep your body moving 93
Injuries from overuse
Joints are places in the body where bones come together. At these joints, tendons
connect the muscle to bones. If you repeat the same movement over and over again,
such as pushing your wheelchair or cart, or walking with crutches, the tendons in
your wrists can be damaged.
You will feel pain in your hand, or here,
when your wrist is gently tapped.
• Rest: Rest your wrists and hands in a comfortable position as much as possible.
If you must continue to move or push yourself around, wear a splint to keep
your hands and wrists as still as possible.
• Splint: To make a soft splint, wrap your wrist and lower arm with cloths so the
joint does not move. Wrapping the cloth around a thin piece of wood first can
help keep the joint straight. The cloths should be
wrapped tightly enough to keep your wrist from
moving, but not so tightly that the blood flow is
blocked or the area gets numb. If you can, wear
the splint while you are moving around, and also
while you rest or sleep.
• Water: Fill one bowl with warm water, and one bowl with cold water. Place
your hands and wrists in the cold water for one minute, and then in the warm
water for 4 minutes. Do this 5 times, ending with the warm water, at least
2 times a day (more often if you can). The warm water bowl should always be
the last one your hands go into.
• Exercise: After each water treatment, exercise your hands and wrists. This
will help prevent more damage to the tendons. Count to 5 as you hold your
hands in each of these positions. If you feel pain in any of these positions,
try to change the position a little to make it more comfortable. Repeat these
movements 10 times.
• Medicine: If your hands or wrists are painful or swollen, take aspirin or another
pain medicine that reduces inflammation (see page 335).
• Operation: After 6 months, if the pain is constant, if you feel weaker, or if you
lose feeling or notice tingling in your hands, get medical help. You may need to
have medicine carefully injected into the wrist, or you may need an operation.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007