HAVS, also known as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, is caused by the repeated use of handheld vibrating tools. It can result from using power drills, chainsaws, and pneumatic drills but can also come from holding or working with other vibrating machinery.
So, how can you identify HAVS, and what does it come from? Here are the common causes of HAVS (Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome) so you can learn prevention and care.
Symptoms of HAVS
The symptoms of HAVS can vary from person to person. It can range from mild to severe depending on your experiences with vibrating equipment. But the early signs you should look out for include loss of feeling or having pins and needles in one or more fingers.
You might also have aches and pains in the muscles, joints, and bones of the hands and lower arms, but Raynaud’s phenomenon is one of the big giveaways. The phenomenon is attacks in the hands that can be triggered by cold weather or touching cold objects. If your fingers are turning white, blue, then red, it could be Raynaud’s phenomenon.
Causes of HAVS
Now that you know its symptoms, it’s good to know the common causes of HAVS. In most cases, it is due to the constant interaction with handheld vibrating tools, such as power drills and chainsaws.
It isn’t exactly clear what causes the condition, but it could be due to repeated injuries to the fingers’ small nerves and blood vessels. Over time, fingers will gradually lose feeling and function.
HAVS Prevention and Treatment
Thankfully, there are steps to take to prevent further damage to the nerves. They can range from holding tools as loosely as possible and changing positions throughout the day to taking breaks. But if symptoms are too significant, consider purchasing anti-vibration work gloves to reduce further damage.
Other preventions and treatments are optional. If symptoms worsen, stop using vibrating tools for the time being and avoid taking medications that can affect blood circulation. If you’re a smoker, cut back to help with blood restriction. In a worst-case scenario, there are medications you can take to help relax blood vessels.
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