Christmas Cracker Pullerís Wrist

Overuse injuries resulting in tendon inflammation are common where the repetitive activity of the wrist is necessary, as in pulling crackers. The cracker pulling action results in the cracker being pushed away from the body while the wrist is bent down, with the cracker being firmly gripped. Then the cracker is pulled close to the body and the wrist is snapped back and bent up.
These rapid and repetitive wrist movements, undertaken while the cracker is being firmly gripped, lead to severe stressing of the tendons at the back of the hands and wrists and can produce inflammation of these tendons which can be difficult to treat. Stopping or changing to a different size of cracker may be sufficient to relieve symptoms. Cheaper and less well built crackers may be safer. Pain relief may be obtained by using support (tubigrip or similar) and/or taking a glass or two of Sherry (don't over do the Sherry - see Merry Christmas? article in the Get up and Go section) or similar beverages (always check with the pharmacist that these drugs are suitable for you). You may find some relief from Christmas cake icing for 10 to 15 minutes about three times per day in the acute stage - up to two weeks. (Never apply icing directly to the skin. Put the icing in your mouth and let it dissolve slowly). Medical Treatment: If the injury doesn't respond to self-treatment and rest before the next bout of cracker pulling, see a physiotherapist or an osteopath. Occasionally 1 week immobilisation in front of a TV may be necessary.

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