I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – selling books online using Bookscouter is one of the most fun ways I’ve found to make extra money.
Unfortunately, like many people who use computers and cell phones on a regular basis, online booksellers can also develop carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition where repetitive movements of your arms, wrists, and hands can inflame the tissues in your wrists, leading to chronic pain.
Think about it – when you’re shopping at thrift stores and garage sales looking for books to sell online, you’re constantly holding your phone and/or scanner in your hands and pressing the same buttons over and over again, which can put a lot of strain on your wrists.
Then when you’re back home looking up book prices to sell your books on Amazon or to buyback companies, you use your hands again to type, move your mouse, or print documents – all movements that can aggravate your fingers and wrists over time.
As someone who’s experienced carpal tunnel syndrome pain, I’d like to share three strategies I’ve adopted to manage and even stop carpal tunnel syndrome pain from happening so I can keep scouting for books and selling them online for extra money.
Full disclosure — I’m not a medical doctor and this blog entry should not be taken as professional medical advice. That said, I’ve gotten a lot of relief by following these strategies, and I hope they help you.
Limit Your Book Scouting Time
Take it from someone who’s been selling books online for over six years – hunting for used books to sell online (or “book scouting”) can be addictive!
Let’s face it – it’s fun to buy books for a few dollars and then sell them online for $5, $10, or even $100. And when you consider all the places where you can hunt for books – thrift shops, garage sales, library bookstores and more – the temptation to spend several hours every week book scouting can be strong.
But be careful! Spending too much time perusing book shelves and scanning barcodes can and will put a lot of pressure on your wrists – which can cause you a lot of pain.
So how much time should you spend book scouting? That’s up to you – but I would suggest limiting your book scouting time to maybe a couple hours a day at first, and take a few days off in between book scouting trips to let your wrists recuperate.
If you do start book scouting on a more regular basis, be sure to listen to the aches and pains of your body and take some time off whenever you need to – remember if you work at an office or spend a lot of time on the computer already, you’re wrists are probably being exposed to a lot of repetitive motions already.
Practice Self Massage Daily
One of the best methods I’ve found to relieve my carpal tunnel syndrome (and to prevent future cases from happening) is to practice some deep tissue massages on my arms and wrists every day to help keep my muscles loose.
This is a cheap and very easy way of making sure you don’t develop any major muscle problems down the line – and it’ll help you start and end your days feeling much better if you practice self massage daily.
I’ve personally gotten a lot of relief following the simple instructions from the two YouTube videos below:
All you really need for relief is a little unrefined oil (I’ve personally gotten great results with extra virgin natural coconut oil, but any unrefined oil will work well) and a little time every day to take care of your arm muscles.
I recommend you spend at least 20-30 minutes every morning using these massage techniques (especially on days you go out book scouting) and another 20-30 minutes every night massaging your arms, wrists, and hands to help relieve any muscle pain you might have picked up during the day.
And don’t just stop at arm and hand massage! Remember, your legs and back are also under a lot of strain if you keep bending and crouching at thrift stores to find books to sell online, so be sure to study leg, knee, and back massage as well (you can find several videos about this massage on YouTube).
(Please feel free to comment below if you’d like to see a future blog post focusing on these other types of massage).
Wear Compression Gloves
Some people have differing feelings about this, but I’ve found wearing compression gloves (the flexible nylon gloves with a strap that wraps around your wrist giving it extra support) can help relieve your hands of a lot of pain that they might experience if you didn’t wear them.
You can find these gloves at most drug stores in the same section where they sell hand splints. They’re fairly inexpensive and last a long time. (Just make sure you pick out a pair of gloves that fit you well and are comfortable).
And remember – even the best compression gloves can’t prevent carpal tunnel syndrome if you go book scouting every day. Listen to your body, take some time off if you need it, and practice self massage on a constant basis. Trust me – you’ll be glad you did!
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