Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (Vibration White Finger )


Vibration White Finger and Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) are one and the same thing. This is a painful, potentially disabling condition of the arms, fingers and hands because of vibration. This syndrome actually begins with a tingling feeling in the fingers, followed by numbness. The fingers then become swollen and white during times of cold and then painful and red in warmer weather. Cold weather can actually cause more harm to the condition. You may find it difficult to pick up nail s pins because there is a loss of strength in hands. The tingling and pain in the fingers and hands can even interfere with one’s sleep. 1 in 10 people who work with vibrating tools can get HAVS.

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Causes of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

The source of vibration that causes Vibration White Finger include jackhammers, pneumatic drills, chipping tools, needle guns, concrete vibrators, power chain saws, asphalt breakers, angle grinders, power lawnmovers, riveters and even electronic games with a vibrating effect in the consoles.

Why is Vibration White Finger called Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome( HAVS) can cause problems to the fingers, arms and hands due to the vibration effect of the tools mentioned above. The name was changed to HAVS because the symptoms can be in other forms apart from just white fingers

Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome Symptoms

1.     Raynaud ’s phenomenon is specifically what is known as White Finger symptom. In other words, Raynaud’s phenomenon is a symptom of Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome.  In this case, what happen is first the fingers become white and cold. This is because the small blood vessels in there become narrow and spasmodic.  Then there is a bluish tinge because the oxygen is being used up from depleted blood supply of the narrowed blood vessels. Then they become bright red, possibhly due to the blood vessels dilating for good blood flow, the change resulting in throbbing pain. Raynaud’s phenomenon is usually triggered by cold weather, and the duration of pale, cold fingers and throbbing can last from minutes to hours. As you condition worsens, Raynaud’s phenomenon would not rely on winter to cause problems, you may feel the discomfort and numbness in summer also, but usually when the hand is wet.

2.       Numbness and Tingling: Frayed nerves due to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome can cause numbness and tingling in one or more fingers.  The effect may be on and off, butin some cases, the numbness can be persistent, leading to clumsiness while doing various tasks. For instance, it may become tough to fasten buttons, sew or put a coin in a box.

3.       Pain: Due to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, there are many cases of pain and aches in the lower arm, resulting in marginal damage to joints, muscles, causing your grip to weaken.

Hand Arm Vibration Diagnosis

You have to let the doctor know about your symptoms and the fact that you have been working with vibrating tools for him or her to effectively diagnose the situation.  There are some tests needed if you are looking for Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome compensation.  These tests can be connected to your hand grip, your ability to work with fine hand movements and response of your fingers to cold weather.

How to prevent Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

You can do the following

The following steps are thought to help prevent HAVS in workers who use vibrating tools:

1.       Do not hold the vibrating tool in one position for a long time, if you are working ith it.

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2.      Make use of anti-vibration gloves

3.      Take 10 minutes breaks from your work; short stint of work is better than incessant periods of work without break.

4.      Make sure that the vibrating tools are well maintained

5.      Use the right tool for the job,  do not use a tool that is a compromise for the job.

6.      Do not work in a polluted atmosphere; you may risk various cancers too including mesothelioma cancer.

7.      Do not  smoke while working, the blood flow can be interrupted while working in a condition like this. Avoid caffeine in tea, coffee etc; and steer clear of alcohol.

Vibration White Finger (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome) Treatment

If you suspect that you have HAVS through the symptoms mentioned above, you should see a doctor. You should also let your employer know so that they can make suitable arrangements for a conducive working atmosphere or arrange for shifting of job responsibility in this regard.

1.       Stop using vibrating tools as soon as possible. Raynaud’s Phenomenon symptoms go away easily, if the symptoms are mild and you stop using those vibrating tools.  Consider a change of job, if your employer is not relenting.

2.       Doctors can treat Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome with medicines that cause blood vessels to become thin Some of them include decongestants, betablockers, anti-migraine medicines and even contraceptive pills. However, you should not take these medicines on your own, consult a doctor.

3.      A medicine for treatment for Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome called nifedipine may be prescribed if symptoms of Raynaud’s phenomenon are severe. It opens up or dilates the small blood vessels. Read the leaflet for a full list of side effects and prescription modes and check with the doctor about it. The doctor can also give other medicines apart from nifedipine depending on your condition.

4.      Warm wear gloves when you are in cool weather.  Try to keep your whole body warm, not just the hands. If you have to use food from freezer or do such other things, where you are exposed to cold, wear a glove or towel.

5.      Exercise your hands regularly to improve circulation

Vibration White Finger Pictures

Check out these photos to find out how this syndrome can inflict tingling and pain besides changing the color of your fingers.

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