Hairdressers are known for their ability to create style and panache from behind the chair. But the coordination, skill, and dexterity that we’ve come to expect can take its toll on our beloved stylists. Sore arms, aching backs, and tired feet may be a daily occurrence for your favorite hairdresser. So whether you’re a stylist or have a newfound appreciation for them, please pass these hints along!
Thumb tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis or golfer’s elbow are common conditions that can affect hairdressers. To keep these painful ailments at bay, try these stretches before work, at lunch, and after work. If you can also fit in a stretch or two between clients, that’s even better. Don’t forget to do these stretches on both arms. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
Thumb Stretch: Start with your hand by your side, elbow bent and thumb facing the ceiling. Bend your thumb into your palm and gently close your fingers around it. Then straighten your elbow in front of your body. Gently bend the wrist down towards the floor until you feel a stretch along the thumb or side of the wrist. Back off if you feel pain. This stretch helps to prevent painful DeQuervain’s tendonitis.
Wrist Stretch: Begin by making a light fist. Straighten your elbow with your arm in front of you and the palm facing down. Now use your other hand to gently bend the wrist down towards the floor until a stretch is felt. You may feel it on the top of your forearm close to your elbow or all the way down to your wrist.
Wrist Stretch 2: To combat symptoms of golfer’s elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome, start with your palm facing up. Straighten the elbow in front of you. Using your opposite hand, gently stretch your wrist and fingers towards the floor. You may feel this stretch from your fingertips up into your elbow.
Chest Expansion Stretch: Since most activities are done directly in front of the body, the chest muscles often get tight. To stretch them, clasp your hands together behind your back. Gently lift your arms, with your elbow straight, away from your body to intensify this stretch.
Shoulder Rolls: Begin by gently hike your shoulders up towards your ears, then roll your shoulders back, bringing your shoulder blades together. Next, gently drop your shoulders down. This exercise can help relieve tension in the shoulders and neck and improve posture. Try doing five to ten repetitions a couple of times a day.
We hope this helps prevent injuries, but if you or your stylist have already been diagnosed with carpal tunnel, thumb arthritis, tennis elbow, or golfer’s elbow, Treat Yourself Therapy offers do-it-yourself treatment programs perfect for busy stylists! Each video has helpful hints to decrease pain and prevent re-occurrence and a series of exercises and stretches. Learn more about each video at www.TreatYourselfTherapy.com.
If you haven't tried yoga, I'd like to encourage you to give it a try! Yoga has been a part of my life for many years, both as a practitioner and as an instructor. Practicing yoga helps increase flexibility and strength, improves balance, and studies show that it can help decrease blood pressure and increase bone density.
Resuming your upper body workout after being diagnosed with tennis elbow can be a difficult decision. For most people, it’s reasonable to return when you are pain-free at rest and with light daily activities. Here are some tips to keep in mind when coping with this condition while still getting to the gym a couple of times a week.
Working out with weights is a great way to tone and strengthen your muscles. But for some, these activities can bring on the dreaded diagnosis of tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis. Whether you are a novice or a diehard, here are a few suggestions that can help prevent the condition from getting worse so you get back to your routine sooner.
You may think that "arthritis is arthritis," and that it all affects the joints in the same way. The truth is, there are several types of arthritis and how they present themselves in the hand is very different.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It results from wearing of the cartilage on the joint surfaces. It is usually slow in its progression, with the first signs being soreness at the joint. As it progresses, it can become more painful. Over time, the cartilage can wear down, eventually leading to a joint with bone rubbing on bone. The joints in the hand most prone to osteoarthritis are the base of the thumb and the small joints in the fingers. Nodules at these small joints, called Heberden's nodes, are the result of osteoarthritis. Treat Yourself Therapy's video for Thumb Arthritis is a treatment program designed for osteoarthritis of the thumb. It contains specific exercises and education to decrease pain and improve flexibility while saving you time and money.