Home DIY injury prevention

First Move principles teach us how to use our bodies safely and effectively to avoid physical strain and injury. These principles apply in all aspects of our lives be it work, home, sport and recreation.

This ‘move tip’ is about how to take care of your hand, elbow and arm when you’re doing repetitive home ‘D.I.Y.’ activities.

‘DIY’ is part of our culture.  Many a weekend is spent building a deck, painting a bedroom or digging in the garden.  These activities require repetitive use of tools such as paint brushes, hammers, drills, screwdrivers and spades.  These repetitive actions often combined with jarring forces frequently leads to injuries such as tennis elbow or forearm strain.

We know from First Move Principles that your hand has 2 separate functions. Fine control and power.

Using the power side of the hand effectively is vital to avoiding strain and injury.

The common habit is to grip evenly with all fingers when holding onto the tool (e.g. hammer, paintbrush, spade).  Gripping evenly with your whole hand is the action that creates tension through your wrist, forearm, elbow and arm and leads to strain and injuries such as tennis elbow.

To avoid strain when you are gripping LEAD THE GRIP WITH YOUR PINKY FINGER. This doesn’t mean to grip with just your pinky finger.

Hold onto the object with all your fingers but rather than gripping evenly with your whole hand focus on gripping the pinky finger.  The rest of the grip will take care of itself.

This small change in technique will ensure you can move your hand, wrist and arm without strain and tension.

To ensure your D.I.Y is an enjoyable experience – not a painful one – get into the habit of leading the grip with your pinky finger.

Use your Pinky Power!

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