It’s common for professional hairdressers to experience occasional wrist pain as a result of their work. But when this becomes more frequent, it can be a sign of something much worse. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a form of tissue inflammation that presses on the tendons controlling the fingers and wrist. This leads to painful and prickling sensations that can greatly disrupt your ability to work. Read on to learn how hairdressers can prevent wrist pain and maintain their health on the job.
Take Frequent Breaks
Make sure you’re setting some time aside throughout your day to take breaks. Wrist problems form when we repeat the same movements. Performing the same hair cutting techniques day after day can quickly wear on the tissues in your wrists, hands, and arms. Stopping every so often allows these muscles to relax and partially recover from the prolonged strain.
During your breaks, it also helps to stretch your hands and wrists. Stretching keeps your muscles loose and flexible—which reduces the amount of strain they experience when doing repetitive tasks. This is also great for alleviating any existing pain in these areas. Two of the most important stretches to keep in mind are the forward and backward finger and wrist pulls.
Use Ergonomic Styling Tools
Hairdressers can prevent wrist pain by purchasing more ergonomically friendly tools. Haircutting shears can force the fingers into awkward positions and put more strain on them. Fortunately, crane handles can counteract this problem. This model allows your fingers to rest at a neutral position—cutting back on pressure. This feature makes them a handle all shears should have.
Wear a Brace in Your off Time
If you’re still concerned about your wrists, you can wear a wrist brace when you aren’t working. Braces keep your wrist and fingers locked in a straight position. This gives your ligaments time to rest and heal from their inflammation. Occasionally wearing braces and stretching can help reduce the overall risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.