- Change something about the activity you are doing every 15-20 minutes.
Our bodies were not made to sustain an activity or to do it repetitively for a long period. Even if the activity seems easy or very minimally stressful to the body, we still need to change the activity in some way every 15-20 minutes!
The change should be that you either REST, CHANGE HOW YOU ARE DOING THE ACTIVITY or DO A DIFFERENT ACTIVITY ALTOGETHER.
For example, if you are holding your baby, after 15-20 minutes, you should either put your baby down (rest), change baby’s position or change the arm that is carrying baby (change how you are doing the activity) or you should put baby in a baby carrier (do a different activity).
- Keeping the hand and wrist aligned as much as possible.
The body was also made so that it is able to give the most power with the least amount of effort when it’s joints are aligned. When they are NOT aligned then we are forcing our body and it’s parts to over exert itself.
How this tip is helpful is that the more we try to keep our hands in a straight-ish line with our wrists when we are doing our Mom tasks, the less stress the activity is on our hands and wrists and the less likely we will develop injury
A good example is when we hold our babies, whichever position we are holding them, look down at the arm that is holding your little one (or take a look at both arms). Is your hand in line with your wrist? If not then you are putting extra stress on the small muscles of your hand.
- When holding objects (or your child!), try to keep your thumb close to the rest of your fingers.
In the same way that keeping your hand aligned with your wrist takes the stress of the activity away from the smaller muscles of your hand, keeping your thumb close to the rest of your hand when doing an activity takes the stress away from your poor little thumb.
For example, it is second nature for us Moms to stabilize and reinforce the hold we have on our babies by extending out our thumb. It’s our way of holding on to them a little more securely. Unfortunately, that is putting a lot of extra stress on our thumbs.
- Strengthen the larger muscles of your upper body including your core.
Your hands and wrists are not isolated. They are an extension of what it is connected to-your arm, your shoulder and, yes, your core! So, making sure these parts of your body are well taken care of and strong helps to lower the risk of injury to your hands and wrists.
By the way, the exercises you do for the arm, shoulder and core do not have to be intense to be helpful. They just need to be done on a regular basis.
- Listen to your pain.
Pain is our body’s way of communicating to us. It is our alarm. It is telling us something needs to change. So, let’s get into the habit of not ignoring it, but rather take a moment to do a quick assessment of our body and see what it might need at the moment.
And Moms, if you would like more help with the pain in your hands, wrists, arms and shoulders, you can work with our expert Orthopedic Occupational Therapist. Click here to set up a session-> Work with Rose