Wrist Pain And How To Reduce It In The Salon

March 27, 2023

As a hairdresser you bring so much joy to your clients life. You make them look and feel their best, all day, every day. Well you deserve to have a long, happy, pain free life behind the chair. So let's discuss wrist pain, what causes it and how to reduce pain so you can have a long, happy career!

Carpal tunnel syndrome and other injuries

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of repetitive strain injury. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the main causes of hand and wrist pain. It is also the most common complaint among hairdressers and barbers. Our wrist is made of tiny bones, tendons and ligaments, and nerves. When we spend all day cutting hair the repetitive movements of our thumb can lead the swelling of the tendons. Inflamed wrist tendons will compress the nerve that runs through our wrist to our thumb. This major nerve is called the median nerve. When the median nerve is compressed it leads to hand pain and numbness weakness etc. As carpal tunnel progresses your hands may begin to lose dexterity and weakened grip strength.

If you have minor signs of early Carpal Tunnel you can relieve symptoms a few ways. Easy stretches, wearing a brace, anti inflammatory agents, cold compresses, physiotherapy and of course... rest, can help. However, those with advanced carpal tunnel syndrome will require surgery. This is why we must start early to prevent long term pain and prolong our beauty career.

Another common complaint amongst hairdressers is wrist tendonitis. Wrist tendonitis means there is inflammation of the tendons in the wrist. Tendonitis is one of many overuse injuries brought on by repetitive motions of the hands and wrist tendons. There are proper precautions we can take to help prevent these stress injuries.

It all starts with .....

The best way to combat carpal tunnel pain and other aches and pains begins with your shears! Our shears are our most valuable tool... after our hands of course. And the proper shear can help us prevent pain.

You may hear a lot of talk about these ergonomic shears. What exactly does this mean?

Ergonomics is roughly defined as the study of people in their work environments. It is basically the study of how to make workers' lives easier in their work environment. How great is that ? There are ergonomic tools made to improve our work life.

Scissor handles to help you !

Let's discuss some shear handles that will help you prevent any repetitive strain injury.

Offset handle

You will find most shears today are made with an offset handle. This handle was designed to keep your thumb slightly in front, and closer to its natural position. This is to help reduce stress on your thumb. This handle is the best place to start to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and hand pain.

Crane handle scissors

Now these scissors are very ergonomic! The thumb ring is placed at its most comfortable and natural position. The straight blade of the crane handle scissor forces the hairdresser to move their elbow down to the side of their body. Why is this important you may ask? Well along with all those common aches and pains in our hands and wrists, our shoulders also take quite a beating. Constantly lifting our arms to cut hair, and blow dry it, can cause repetitive strain injury to them as well. So by using a crane handle scissor and dropping our elbow, our shoulders stay at their most comfortable and neutral position.

Swivel shears

Last but certainly not least are our swivel shears! Swivel shears are some of the best hairdressing scissors you can find to help prevent stress injuries. The thumb ring is designed to.. you guessed ... SWIVEL! This means that the thumb ring can move around in a 360 degree circle. With a shear like this you never have to worry about you thumb being out of its most natural and comfortable position. Most hairdressers may find that adjusting to the swivel shear takes some time if you haven't used one before.... but your hands and wrists will thank you later.

How else can we prevent stress injuries?

You have now invested in a great pair of ergonomic shears! But what else can you do now to help prevent repetitive strain injury. 

Like most problems you may experience in your body, we must start with a healthy diet. Eating foods to help nourish our body, our bones and our muscles can help make the hairdresser's working life more enjoyable. 

There are also different alternative therapies available to help with wrist pain. Acupuncture can often help relieve symptoms of carpal tunnel and wrist tendonitis. A good massage therapist may also help you to relieve some compression and pain in your hands, wrists and arms.

Take care!

We hope that we can help make your career a better, more pain free and happy one! If you are experiencing any wrist or hand pain feel free to contact us about a pair of ergonomic shears! We are always here to help!

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