The Effect Of Decorating On Your Hands

Decorating By laurabeth595 Updated 4 Apr 2016 , 6:13pm by PeachAngel1

laurabeth595 Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 9:31pm
post #1 of 14

i have only been decorating for about 11 months and i am now feeling the effects. i have this really bad pain in my wrist. my managers at work like to call it "decorators wrist". i just would like something to go on on what i should do about it.

13 replies
costumeczar Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 12:07am
post #2 of 14

There have been a few threads on here before about carpal tunnel syndrome, if you do a search you should find them. Lots of people had different experiences with this kind of thing. I had my hand starting to go numb and hurt, but it wasn't carpal tunnel, it was bad posture. Try to sit up straighter when you work (we all tend to hunch over the cakes) and stretch your arms and shoulders out on a regular basis. It might help.

laurabeth595 Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 2:10am
post #3 of 14

well now my employer sent me to the company doc and now i am out of decorating for 3 to 6 weeks. i cried when the doc told me. its like a part of me has been removed. just therapy for now and crossing my fingers and jumping inside. we'll see how this goes.

enoid Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 2:16am
post #4 of 14

I know how you are feeling. I broke my arm 2 weeks before Christmas and just got enough strength back in my hand to be able to squeeze the bag. I was jumping for joy to be decorating again. Hang in there.

summernoelle Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 2:21am
post #5 of 14

My hand under my pinkie cramps up all the time. When I pipe, I have an ice cold can of soda next to me, to wrap my hand around to help the pain while I take breaks. Hope you feel better!

3GCakes Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 2:31am
post #6 of 14

I can't remember where I read it or heard it, but I thought I saw that carpal tunnel is either something that happens within a certain amount of time, and if it doesn't it will never happen.

I worked at a bank typing for 5 or 6 hours a day for ten years. No carpal tunnel. Got back into decorating and nothing really that limits me at all. I do get sore, but I would get sore sometimes if I exercised too much too.

I think it is something that some people are pre-disposed to, and some maybe are not.

That is just my opinion though...based on my personal experience and what I think I have heard.

I DID, however...do a lot of wrist and finger stretches while typing. It was kind of like a nervous habit. I was always bending my fingers back, and placing my hands on a table, facing my body, and stretching. Maybe that did it, too.

newnancy Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 2:32am
post #7 of 14

summernoelle,
Watch that pinkie, I had carpal tunnel & the only reason I finally did anything about it was my pinkie was turning inward towards my palm (I could move it but it just relaxed that way, not normal) & I almost waited to long to have it fixed. I now use smaller bags to squeeze & take more breaks, it helps.

vickinc Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 2:50am
post #8 of 14

I have a bad wrist from a fall and I get a pretty bad pain in my wrist especially when I decorate. I have found the wrist support plus mixing my icing a little softer helps and I can do what I enjoy doing. But if I move it a certain way, I can forget doing anything. I just have to be careful with it. I damaged the cartilage in my wrist that is direcly under my pinky bone. Very Very painful. Go online and find some theraputic wrist movements and get you a support wrist band. This should help alot.

mygirlssweet Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 2:50am
post #9 of 14

I was a secretary for years and ended up having to have carpal tunnel surgery on both my wrists. I couldn't feel my hands and the pain was horrible. I knew it was surgery time when I was changing my babies diaper and her feet were turning blue because I couldn't feel how tight I was holing her ankles up. Had surgery, no more pain but I lost a lot of strength in my hands. I have very sore hands after decorating a cake but I enjoy it, so I try to ignore the pain. Recently though, I have been having swollen joints on my right hand which worries my a lot. I am only 32 and too young for this sort of nonsense.

cinderspritzer Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 2:52am
post #10 of 14

another big warning sign of carpal tunnel is any number of your fingers going numb on a regular basis, or feeling pain radiating up from your wrists, sometimes as high up as your shoulder. you might also have one or more fingers that become ''trigger fingers'', where they stick in one position and are REALLY hard to move just by flexing them. if you start to get any of those symptoms, you need to see your doctor like, yesterday.


when you decorate, make sure you keep your wrist straight as much as possible and move your arm from the elbow. frequent stretching is good too.

i've had carpal tunnel for a few years, but don't need surgery yet because i wear a wrist brace on both wrists whenever i have a pastry bag in my hands or when i type on the computer. they're a pain to get used to, but surgery is an intimidating idea so i deal with them for now.

Mac Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 3:50am
post #11 of 14

Carpal tunnel symptoms are the thumb, forefinger and middle finger going numb, tingling and/or pain. Numbness and tingling in the ring finger and pinky could be cubital tunnel syndrome.

Either way, you need to be checked out. I had it for years but was able to postpone surgery for many years by just sleeping in a night splint. Then in 2002, I had to remake the same cake 4 times because I kept dropping either the batter or the baked cake. Had my surgery on BOTH hands at the end of January 2003. No decorating from November 2002 until April 2003.

First few cakes, the writing was shaky and explained that to the customers. All were understanding. I do not regret having the surgery. Only had pain (mild) for the first couple of days but I took the bandages off the next day and put a bandaid over the 2 stitches that I had in each wrist. Being a physical therapist, I knew hand exercises to do. Only side effect is some mild numbness at the end of my middle finger on my left hand.

KlyKat Posted 16 Mar 2009 , 6:14am
post #12 of 14

I had a trigger "thumb" a few years back not from decorating but an assembly job I was working. And let me tell you it was painful!!! My thumb would lock in the bent position and I would have to get someone else to "snap" it back in place.

I had to get a cortison shot 3 different times in the joint of that thumb and lordy it hurt!!! But it's been over 3 years and is still fine.

But what I'm having pain in now is my elbow. My bf tells me it's tennis elbow. It only hurts with certain movements and from what I've read on the web that sounds right.

PeachAngel1 Posted 4 Apr 2016 , 6:12pm
post #13 of 14

I have been a cake decorator for 14 years. I worked in a grocery store for 12 years and my own bakery for 2 years. I'm only 32 but I feel 72. Both of my hands are really bad. My ankles and feet are really bad. Between my shoulder blades and the bottom of my neck is sore a lot..( from my head being down a lot) and my tailbone seems to bother me. I think I need a new body from the neck down..lol I love what I do..but it comes with a price. 

PeachAngel1 Posted 4 Apr 2016 , 6:13pm
post #14 of 14

I have been a cake decorator for 14 years. I worked in a grocery store for 12 years and my own bakery for 2 years. I'm only 32 but I feel 72. Both of my hands are really bad. My ankles and feet are really bad. Between my shoulder blades and the bottom of my neck is sore a lot..( from my head being down a lot) and my tailbone seems to bother me. I think I need a new body from the neck down..lol I love what I do..but it comes with a price. 

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