Looking after our hands is important, whatever type of work we do, whether it’s manual or desk based work. We can often overlook the health and function of our hands and upper limbs until something goes wrong and function becomes compromised.
A condition that can be quite impactful on people and their work is Raynaud’s Syndrome. It is more likely to occur in women than men, in those working with vibrating tools, in people with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. Primary Raynaud’s Syndrome usually starts between the ages of 15 and 25, whilst secondary Raynaud’s tends to develop when people reach their thirties. It can be the result of over-sensitive blood vessels in the fingers and toes as the body reacts to conserve heat by restricting blood flow to extremities. Symptoms can include a temporary change of colour in your hands and feet, tingling and numbness, which in turn can sometime affect dexterity. Some blood pressure and cancer medications are known to increase susceptibility to Raynaud’s Syndrome too.
The Raynaud’s Awareness campaign is running throughout February. More information about the condition and the campaign can be found by following the link below, along with information about working with Raynaud’s.
During Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) assessments, our Occupational Health Practitioners also explore Raynaud’s Syndrome. We can tell you what to look out for, how to work with the symptoms and where to get further guidance and support.
Upper Limb Disorders (ULD)
Upper limb disorders can be caused by repetitive work, uncomfortable or poor working postures, pre-existing injury, use of sustained or excessive force and carrying out a task for long periods. Poor work station arrangements can also be a contributory factor, as can workplace temperature, lighting, workload and demands. Some Individuals may be more susceptible due to an underlying or pre-existing condition. Upper limb disorder symptoms may present in many ways, some of which could include, stiffness, pain, swelling and tenderness in arms and neck. Further information about Upper Limb Disorders (ULD) can be found on the HSE website.
Our expert team of Occupational Health Practitioners are perfectly placed to provide further assessment, advice and guidance to help Employers and Employees manage and prevent Upper Limb Disorders.
Don’t forget, we’re here to help
Specifically, relative to the topics in this newsletter you might be interested in:
HAVS Questionnaires and Assessments, Musculoskeletal Questionnaires and Assessments, DSE / Workstation Assessments, Manual Handling Training and Health Needs Analysis.