The most wonderful time of the year is finally here. It’s time to write letters to Santa, bake cookies, throw holiday parties and, of course, wrap Christmas gifts.
The joy of seeing shiny, paper-covered boxes sitting under the Christmas tree always outweighs the time and effort it takes to actually wrap those gifts. Don’t forget, however, that the process of wrapping gifts can put your hands at risk for injury.
While paper cuts and slips of the scissors may come to mind, the repetitive act of wrapping Christmas gifts can have an even more painful outcome for people who suffer from conditions such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
To avoid potential tingling, numbness or cramping in your hands during the holidays, utilize the following tips when wrapping your Christmas gifts.
Every 30 minutes to an hour, stop what you’re doing and take at least a 10-minute break. During this break, stretch your wrists and shake out your hands and arms to relieve the stress that repetitive movements can put on your hands and arms.
Use the right size scissors
Do not use scissors that are too small or too big for your hand. Scissors that are too large may slip and cut you, while scissors that are too small can squeeze your fingers and make cutting paper more difficult. This can cause hand pain to flare up.
Create an ergonomic setup
Before you start wrapping, make sure that you have plenty of lighting so you can see what you're doing. If you're using a table, stand close enough that you don’t have to overextend your reach for tools. Your hands should be able to rest comfortably on the table. Whether you're standing or sitting, be sure to keep a good position that allows your spine to curve naturally instead of hunching over.
Use a dolly or get help moving large packages
Do not attempt to move a package that is too heavy for you. Get something, whether it's a dolly or another person, to help you. You don’t want to strain your body just for a Christmas gift!
Make sure to stretch
During your breaks and after you’re finished wrapping presents, stretch out your hands, wrists and back.
If you have been experiencing pain in your hands, call Dr. Pedro Loredo at (972) 939-4974 for a consultation. Don’t just live with hand or joint pain — let Dr. Loredo help you improve your quality of life.