Researchers in the United States are seeking to find the specific reason why vibrating tools may cause damage to the workers who use them to see if there might be a means of medically managing the injuries.
Reporting on their studies at the Experimental Biology 2004 meeting, Dr. Sandya Govindaraju and Dr. Danny Riley, both of the Medical College of Wisconsin, are looking at the damage from Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), particularly as it affects human cells.
HAVS is a condition caused by vibration applied to the hand and/or arms through a tool or piece of equipment that can result in a reduction of blood flow to the hands and fingers. In the workplace, HAVS is most commonly found in production and mechanical work where vibrating tools like jackhammers or sanders are employed.
According to the researchers, the vibration affects the arteries and ultimately causes them to constrict, thereby starving the nerves. While the researchers’ goal is to see if specific heart medications that cause blood vessels to dilate could help treat HAVS, a less invasive form of treatment