Any work environment that keeps you on your feet all day takes its toll on the body. So it’s important to pay attention to good posture, good footwear, and more. Stylists also experience a great deal of stress on their upper body, commonly leading to neck and shoulder pain. Did you know that 40% of hairdressers complain of neck pain?
A lot of those difficulties come from the hand positions and arm movements involved in blow drying. Especially when the blow dryer weighs more than 1 pound. But any repeated motions or time in stressful positions can cause problems. Symptoms may develop so slowly that you don’t give them the attention they deserve. But pain, including chronic pain, is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong and things need to change.
Hairdressers, Ergonomics and MSD Injury
What is ergonomics? Simply put, it’s the study of work environments for injury prevention.
What are MSD injuries? That’s not so simple. The abbreviation MSD stands for musculoskeletal disorders. In addition to muscles and bones, that mouthful also refers to tendon and nerve damage. You’ve probably heard about musculoskeletal disorders by way of some of the specific conditions.
- Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons that anchor muscles to bones, and is most often caused by physical strain. Symptoms include pain, cramps, and stiffening.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful compression of a particular nerve in the wrist.
- Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, pockets of lubricating fluid protecting major joints. Symptoms include pain, cramps, stiffness, and weakness.
Due to the activities, hairdressers perform all day, chronic shoulder pain along with pains and soreness in the neck, back, and arms are common. But nothing to be ignored. It’s important to pay attention to ergonomics in order to to lower your risk of injuries requiring medical treatment. And to feel better throughout the day and into the evening.
It’s helpful to think of the results of poor ergonomics and MSD injury in three stages.
- Feeling pain and muscle fatigue at the end of the day, but restored after a good night’s sleep. It’s time to pay more attention to posture and how you go about your work.
- Pain persists into next day and may disturb your sleep and work performance. If this rarely occurs it helps to take a sick day to rest and recover. But no matter how frequent or infrequent it’s time to make major changes. You may want to have a professional ergonomics assessment to prevent MSD injuries.
- Constant unending pain is clearly a clinical disorder. Time to see a doctor right away.
What To Do
When you’ve experienced any discomfort — whether in your wrists, arms, shoulders, neck, or back — it’s time to make some changes. The quickest and easiest is to make sure you have a blow dryer that’s lightweight (under 500 g, i.e. 1 pound) and has an ergonomic grip. Then it’s time to break some habits.
- Maintain a good posture, with a straight back and neck.
- Avoid working in the same posture for long periods, or holding any part of your body in a particular position. When blow drying switch hands back and forth.
- With cutting and blow drying it’s especially important to minimize lifting your upper arms as well as to avoid repetitive lower arm and wrist motions.
- Avoid raising your arms above your shoulders.
Easier said than done! In particular, how do you do a good job of blow drying without those awkward positions and raising your arms up high? After years of suffering through aches and pains we invented the Smooth Air T-360, a nozzle attachment that fits just about any blow dryer you might have. Its patented 360 degree swivel and telescoping design makes it quick and easy to adjust away all those awkward positions.
T-360 Ergonomic Nozzle
The T-360 is the only Blow-dryer attachment of its kind, it works on all hair types and is Universal, fitting on blow-dryers with an opening that is 1.5″inches to 2.5″inches wide. The patented sleeve is made of silicon and fits snug on your hair dryer end so it won’t pop off when you are drying hair. The T-360 is telescopic so you can extend it and it rotates 360 degrees allowing you to Re-direct the air flow wherever you want it without twisting your body in uncomfortable positions and for hairdressers that means less repetitive motion injuries and a healthier body. Now you can convert any Quality blowdryer into an Ergonomic blow-dryer making it easier to create beautiful healthier hair, less frizz and more shine!
*Returns are accepted within 30 days of customer receiving shipped item, returned item will be processed and refunded, (minus the shipping and handling) within 5 working days after we receive item. State board health standards do not allow brushes to be returned so please be sure to pick the correct size.
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