If you take a moment to observe your immediate surroundings, you will very quickly agree that the world has been designed for hands. No matter what you come across, the vast majority of items will meet these body parts first, which not only makes them very valuable assets, but also, high-risk areas for injury. Because of this, various misconceptions have flourished regarding the topic of hand health. Learn how to pick out the mistruths with these 10 common hand health myths – busted!
1. RSI and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Are the Same Thing
False. Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is the name for a collection of disorders, which includes carpal tunnel syndrome, but also features tendinitis, epicondylitis, and cubital tunnel syndrome. It’s important to keep all of these in mind when experiencing any related pain, otherwise, you may overlook the true cause.
2. Wrist Pain Naturally Means Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
False. When someone experiences a numb tingling pain after lengthy computer hours, they often assume that these are the early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, which isn’t necessarily true. Such stiff aches can come from a myriad of other factors (such as arthritis, tendonitis, or simply overuse) so never assume, and go get it looked at.
3. If You Can Move It, It Isn’t Broken
False. This is a stubborn myth that has survived the ages, but simply put, without an X-ray there is no easy one-size-fits-all method of pinpointing a broken bone. This is a dangerous misconception too, as people may be reluctant to seek medical help if they incorrectly analyze the problem. Rather be safe than sorry, and talk to a professional if there is any pain, redness, swelling, or bruising.
4. RSI Only Happens to Factory/Computer Workers
False. While the relentless repetitiveness of certain jobs is linked to these injuries, the occupational effect is more than likely a breaking point due to a more serious underlying problem. Such issues could include age, diabetes, posture, or placing your hands in unnatural positions for lengthy periods of time.
5. Carpal Tunnel Surgery Should be a Last Resort
False. This decision depends entirely on your doctor. Certainly, the majority of specialists will encourage nonsurgical treatments over an operation (such as rest, simple exercises on the go, a wrist brace, ice therapy, steroid injections etc), but there are circumstances where immediate surgery is advised, like damage to the median nerve. The good news is that this is a very common procedure, with up to 90% of cases making a full recovery.
6. You’re Experiencing Muscle Pain in Your Fingers
False. If anyone ever claims to have pulled a finger muscle, remind them that this is impossible, as there are no muscles in your fingers whatsoever. Rather, your digits consist of bones, ligaments, and tendons, while its the muscles in your arm which pull them closed. Flex your fingers right now, and you’ll feel it in your forearm.
7. You Can Fix RTI by Getting off the Computer
False. This approach may very well calm the symptoms, but if the severity of a situation has already passed a critical point, then your troubles will more than likely flair right back as soon as you return to work. A better idea is to seek treatment at the first signs of any wrist fatigue, and by following the proper advice, your recovery time should be quick and painless.
8. You Can Fix RTI with Ergonomic Equipment
False. As before, these adjustments may provide some relief, but there is a deeper tissue issue at work here, and the root cause will need to be addressed for a full recovery. Keep a close eye on your posture, hand positioning, and overdoing your workload, whilst conversing with your doctor at any hint of strain.
9. You Can Fix RTI with Splints and Vitamins
False. In case you missed it, the moral of the story here is that any self-treatment is not your best line of defense. Without proper diagnoses, you could aggravate the damage by working through the pain under the false idea that you’re taking the correct action. What’s more, an unsuitable splint could lead to an even worse injury, so don’t pretend to be an expert, and rather speak to an actual expert.
10. Cracking Your Knuckles Causes Arthritis
False. If there ever was an old wives’ tale which has persisted despite the lack of any evidence, it is this one. There are currently no links found between general knuckle cracking and any physical harm, except perhaps if your annoyed friends decide to restrain you. That said, however, any popping action which causes you pain or discomfort is worth some concern, so once again, get the upper hand by speaking to your doctor.