How Can The Abacus® Help Relieve Winter Hand Pain?
Have you noticed that during colder months your aches and pains worsen and occur more often, especially for your fingers and hands? Cold air can lead to symptoms or flare-ups for many health conditions like arthritis. It can sometimes even make these conditions worse.
When temperatures drop (along with the barometric pressure), your nerve endings grow sensitive and the muscles surrounding your nerves can tense up. With less atmospheric pressure holding muscle tissue back, inflammation can easily occur and the swelling of the tissue leads to pain. Cold weather can also shrink the tissues causing them to pull on nerve endings which also lead to joint pain.
Fingers and hands, along with other certain body parts like your toes, nose, and ears experience more intense pains since they have more thermoregulatory receptors. With a decrease in blood flow and more densely packed nerves, cold temperatures are perceived to be more painful than other parts of the body.
Pain is actually a good thing in this case. Once your fingers go numb, you should try to warm your hands as soon as possible to prevent frostbite. This occurs when your fingers and hands are exposed to extremely cold temperatures for a long period of time, cutting off the blood supply to these areas. However, as massage therapists, you don’t want to deal with painful hands before dealing with a day full of sessions.
Here are a few tips to combat the cold and minimize the pain:
- Bundle Up - Protect your fingers and hands from freezing temps by investing in a pair of warm winter gloves. These will help keep your nerves and muscles warm.
- Massage - Make sure to massage your fingers and hands to keep those nerves and muscles from stiffening. The Gelliflex ® Abacus® can offer relief by giving a circulatory and compressive self-massage.
- Stretch - This is especially encouraged in the mornings to stay limber and not tense up throughout sessions. End the day with some stretches as well.
- Exercise - Make sure to stay active, preferably inside, to avoid joints from getting stagnant. Muscles and joints can stiffen and make it more painful to move if you don’t regularly exercise.