Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All you need to know about vibration white finger

By Sophie Vern

Vibration white finger is known by many as VWF and it is caused by repetitive stress on the hands and fingers from using harsh vibrating machinery and tools on a regular basis. The vibrations caused by the tools are very damaging to the blood vessels and can cause both the fingers and sometimes the hands to go into spasm. Over time VWF can get worse if the person continues to use the tools which initially caused the condition too.

The spasms in the hands and fingers occur because the blood vessels are damaged and so can't get enough blood into them. This also causes the fingers to lose their colour and turn white before going blue if the condition is very bad. After a while the spasms do subside and colour begins to return but not before the fingers go very red and the sufferer can experience a variety of sensations such as numbness, pins and needles, tingling and even burning.

There are a number of symptoms of vibration white finger all of which can be very uncomfortable and even embarrassing for the sufferer. Firstly they can experience the colour changing in the fingers and hands and this is often accompanied by numbness or pins and needles. Then there are the after effects of tingling and burning sensations but also the spasms which can make simple tasks like holding a pen very difficult.

After the condition has initially been caused by someone using vibrating tools on a regular basis, it is usually set off by a trigger. The trigger which sets it off can be using that tool once again or it can be something different like a temperature change or the hands and fingers being subjected to cold temperatures.

Any worker who uses vibrating tools often is of course at risk of getting vibration white finger. The condition is fairly common with miners, road workers and construction workers because of the tools they use but because they also experience cold temperatures a lot too.

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