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A History of Vibration White Finger
Vibration white finger or hand-arm vibration syndrome develops when an individual suffers from Raynaud’s syndrome. This syndrome is a form of industrial injury that is often triggered when you use vibrating hand-held tools. It is common among industrial workers. The disorder affects hand muscles, blood vessels, joints, and nerves. It can also extend to the arms and wrists. This injury can occur when an individual is exposed to 5 to 2000 Hz of vibration. But you are more likely to develop the syndrome when the vibration exposure ranges from 50 to 150 Hz.
The Industrial Injury Advisory Council introduced the term vibration-induced white finger in 1970. Vibration white finger symptoms were initially described in 1911 in Italy. At this time, researchers had not identified a link between the use of vibrating tools and the symptoms. The connection was later made by a doctor in 1918. The doctor established a link between the two after she examined symptoms in quarry carvers and cutters. This doctor also realized that there was a relationship between severe vibration white finger and cold weather. This is because the Bedford, Indiana region was experiencing a particular harsh winter when the quarry workers were diagnosed with this condition.
In 1975, the Taylor-Pelmear scale was designed to assess the syndrome. But vibration white finger was only considered a disease in the UK in 1985. In 1987, a second scale, the Stockholm scale was launched. Over the years, there have been several claims for compensation from coal miners who believe that their occupation was responsible for the development of this disease.
There are several symptoms that were identified when this condition was initially diagnosed. One of the main symptoms is numbness or tingling in the fingers. This occurs when a person’s hand nerves and blood vessels have been affected by the vibration. It may be difficult for someone to recognize this symptom after a day of work. If you suffer from a mild form of this condition, the tingling might only affect your fingertips. When the condition progresses, an entire finger can turn white, making you lose feeling.
Another common symptom that was identified is the loss of colour in the fingers. The fingers lose colour once the blood vessels are affected by the vibration. This usually happens after prolonged periods of exposure to vibration. Cold weather can worsen the condition. The fingers start becoming pale and later lose feeling. You may also have a red flush on your fingers before they turn dark blue. When this happens, it is an indication that blood is now circulating to your fingers. You are likely to experience painful throbbing at this point.
Vibration white finger can also make you lose manual dexterity once your muscles and nerves are affected. The loss of dexterity is particularly common during cold weather. This can occur when you are engaging in any activity that involves hand movements. The effects can last for about an hour and it can be very painful. When you suffer from loss of dexterity, it will be difficult to grip items in your hand.