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 Post subject: Proper knife usage and avoiding pain in hand
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:14 pm 
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Yesterday I diced around 40 tomatoes really quickly. Halfway through I noticed my hand was really beginning to hurt and that my pointer finger (or middle, I can't remember) was becoming numb and tingly! My wrist was also hurting.

I tried to adjust myself so my wrist was straight, but it didn't help. The only two other things I can think of are 1) I wasn't holding the knife correctly or 2) I was elevated too high above the cutting board (I was standing on a step stool).

Here's a video of how a chef's knife is supposed to be held, however, they only mention this helping with control...not protecting your hand or wrist from pain.

http://video.about.com/busycooks/How-to ... -Knife.htm

(I was holding the knife like "the hammer")

Does anyone work in a field where you have to chop high volumes of food? Do you know what I can do to protect my hand? Are either of my two guesses correct?


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 Post subject: Re: Proper knife usage and avoiding pain in hand
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:19 pm 
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Naked Under Apron
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Wrist pain and fingers becoming tingly sounds like a carpal tunnel problem. I'm not sure what the solution is, though -- usually the solution is a wrist brace, but those usually hold your hand at the wrong angle for holding a knife.


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 Post subject: Re: Proper knife usage and avoiding pain in hand
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:23 pm 
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Larisa wrote:
Wrist pain and fingers becoming tingly sounds like a carpal tunnel problem. I'm not sure what the solution is, though -- usually the solution is a wrist brace, but those usually hold your hand at the wrong angle for holding a knife.


I actually already own a wrist brace because I was beginning to get carpal tunnel from working too often on my little computer. I have a small asus computer that I often would do data entry and work on, in addition to use it to peruse the internet for hours. After I started getting wrist pain, I bought a guard. I guess I didn't think of those two things as being related until now. Perhaps someone who hasn't already developed the beginnings of Carpal tunnel wouldn't be having those problems with a knife?!


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 Post subject: Re: Proper knife usage and avoiding pain in hand
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:42 pm 
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Saggy Butt

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It's definitely carpal tunnel. When mine was particularly painful, I wore a wrist brace while I was in the kitchen, and it helped a ton. You might wanna get some foodservice gloves, too, so the brace doesn't get dirty.


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 Post subject: Re: Proper knife usage and avoiding pain in hand
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 2:15 pm 
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I have the same issues, especially when slicing hard foods like baguettes in large volumes. Other than a brace, the best things that help are having the cutting board at an angle, so the wrist is straight, and having good knives, so you aren't having to use much force. Take breaks and stretch your wrists/forearms when needed.


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 Post subject: Re: Proper knife usage and avoiding pain in hand
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 2:23 pm 
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I have carpal tunnel in both wrists too, and bake/knead/chop constantly, so I use my brace(s) when in the kitchen.

Sleeping with your brace helps a lot too.

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 Post subject: Re: Proper knife usage and avoiding pain in hand
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 4:05 pm 
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Okay, thanks guys. I need to find the brace, and I'll wear it tomorrow since I know I'll be doing lots of prep. I'll put the food service glove over it. It's going to slow me down a lot though, since I often go from prep, to dishes, to serving food all pretty quickly. Hopefully the restaurant is slow!!


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 Post subject: Re: Proper knife usage and avoiding pain in hand
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 7:35 pm 
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Yeah, you should be able to keep your wrist pretty straight holding it like that, I think, which is the important thing for preventing carpal tunnel. If not, your work surface may be at the wrong height, which is kind of hard to work around...

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 Post subject: Re: Proper knife usage and avoiding pain in hand
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 7:52 pm 
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wearing your brace at night will help so much, and icing regularly too.
i get CT issues when i do too much computer work, no matter how i configure things, and when it's really bad i can't even hold a mug. since i wasn't interested in surgery, the doc gave me antiinflammatories, told me to rest and ice and wear brace. it flares up when i have to use the kitchen scissors to cut hard things (stale bread, etc) too.

knitting also makes it worse, unfortunately.

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