Repeating the Same Movement Over and Over 405
Joints are places in the body where bones come together.
At these joints tendons connect the bones to muscle. If you
repeat the same movement over and over while working, the
tendon can be damaged. Injuries to the wrists and elbows are
common with farming and factory work. Injuries to the knees
are common among domestic workers (‘house-maid’s knee’),
miners, and other workers who kneel for a long time.
• Pain and tingling in the part of your
body that repeats the movement.
• For wrists, you will feel pain in your hand or here
when your wrist is gently tapped.
• A grating feeling when you place your
hand over the joint and move it.
• Rest the joint in a comfortable position as much as possible.
If you must continue to use that joint as you work, wear a
splint to keep it as still as possible. Try some of the ideas
below in the prevention section.
• Make a soft splint by wrapping the joint with
cloths so it 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 the joint from moving, but not
so tightly that the blood flow is blocked or the area gets
numb. Wear the splint while you work, and also while you
rest or sleep.
• If the joint is painful or swollen, take aspirin or use one of
the pain medicines that reduce inflammation. Hot, moist
cloth compresses can also help decrease pain and swelling.
• If the joint does not get better after 6 months, get medical
help. You may need to have medicine carefully injected into
the joint, or you may need an operation.
• If it is safe, switch hands or body positions as you work.
Try to work in a way that bends the joint less and puts less
pressure on it.
• Try to exercise the joint every hour, by moving it through
all of the motions it can make. This will stretch and
strengthen the tendons and muscles. If exercise causes
pain, move the joint slowly and gently.
medicines for pain
➤ If a joint is red
or hot, it might be
infected. See a health
worker right away.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012